Sunday, September 28, 2014

Twitter Controversy over Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder

So apparently People magazine tweeted a controversial comment about How to Get Away with Murder. The magazine tweeted "Waiting for Viola to break into 'You is kind. You is smart. You is important.' #HowToGetAwayWithMurder" and people responded with claims of racism. Am I the only person who realizes that the comment was in reference to the movie The Help? You know, that movie about black maids in the south. The one that Viola Davis starred in and said that iconic line? Yeah, that one. How does connecting her with her biggest role to date constitute a racist statement? Does that mean that I'm racist when I see Denzel Washington and think "King Kong aint got *nothing on me!" or Arnold Schwarzenegger and think "I'll be back?" I didn't know associating actors with their past roles was racist. Why didn't anyone tell me? I think I know why: because it's not racist. Calling racism over a comment like that is the reason why some people don't take real racism seriously. You can't just throw around the term. 

People magazine also tweeted a comment about Scandal. The tweet read: "Olivia's back to straight hair so you KNOW she means business. #Scandal" and was met with accusations of being offensive. Do people actually watch the show? If so, they would know that Olivia Pope rocks the straight hair when she's being the hardcore, don't f*** with me, Olivia Pope. Seeing her with curly hair while she was thousands of miles away was a sign that she was completely relaxed and able to literally let her hair down. She didn't have to be hard and inflexible, she could be soft and bending.  I like that she had her "at peace" hair style and her "at work" style. I don't understand why it was an issue. The real question is, was she or was she not more serious with the straight hair than she was with the curly hair? She clearly behaved like a different person once her hair was straight. Publicly acknowledging that does not make the person who acknowledged it a racist or insinuate that there were racial undertones. 

I'm not saying that people don't have a right to be offended, but I am saying that people need to have thicker skin. If you want to be offended, then you will be. Most statements can be taken many different ways. Instead of choosing to sweat the petty stuff, how about channeling that energy towards finding ways to bring people together?

*The line in the movie is actually "King Kong aint got shit on me," but I prefer the censored line.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Is it Wednesday Yet?

If you follow my blog, you already know that I am obsessed with Zankie. At my worst (which was when Zankie was at their best) I was a sleep deprived mess. I tried to fight them, but I failed miserably. Those boys had me going to bed in the wee hours of the morning and waking up a few hours later reaching for my phone to see what happened while I was sleeping. It was bad. Thankfully my day job didn't suffer too much and my obsession calmed down a little when Zach was sent packing.  They are both out of the house so I no longer have to care about the live feed updates, but I'm still obsessed with the status of their friendship. This Wednesday is the big day. As Marc would say, "I need to know. I need to know."

Update: As of 9/24/2014, Zach and Frankie are both reporting that they are best friends. Yay! Zankie is real! I don't know why that makes me so happy, but it does. I wish them many, many years of friendship and I really hope that the bond they have formed remains the same. 

Okay Black People

During any given day, I usually have a couple of "okay black people" moments and I'm black, so not only am I allowed to have them, but I'm also allowed to talk about them. I recorded Friday's episode of Utopia. I haven't seen many episodes since the premiere but I figured I would check in on the cast. Anyway, a white guy made a comment to a white woman that she found so racial that she had to run and tell the black guy. I was wondering what the guy said. Fortunately they edited in his actual comments. The white guy said something like he hoped the next woman who entered the community didn't prefer black men. He said it because he's single and he wants some loving too. I immediately understood his comments. As a black person, I didn't find it offensive or racial at all. It seemed logical to me. I was somewhat annoyed that the woman went and repeated it and made it seem like something that it wasn't. Sometimes people are way too sensitive about race. Every time a person's race is mentioned does not mean that it's a racial discussion. I purposely used white guy, white woman and black guy in this paragraph, because, like it or not, race is one way of describing people. The issue was resolved after the black guy confronted the white guy and let him know that some of his jokes rubbed him the wrong way. There was a blow up and later they reconnected and had a civil discussion about it and the black guy accepted the white guy's apology. For me, the drama was over nothing. 

This morning, I planned to only discuss the incident that happened on Utopia, but I saw an article that caught my attention. Apparently, Rahm Emanuel (the mayor of Chicago) was going to name a new school after President Barack Obama. The article said that he changed his mind "amid ongoing criticism from African-Americans who felt the honor inappropriate for a school slated for a wealthy, predominantly white part of the Near North Side." Um...okay black people. I guess only a black school should be named after a black president. Let's completely ignore the fact that Barack Obama is half white and that he was raised by the white side of his family in a predominantly white community and that he and Michelle had worked their way in to being "haves" before running for president was even a thought on their political agenda. Let's pretend that we missed the fact that the president finished his undergrad at Columbia University (my alma mater) or that both he and his wife went to Harvard Law School, and let's completely ignore the fact that his two daughters attend an "elite school" in Washington D.C. Let's wish the facts away and picture Barack Obama as a black president and nothing more. Let's ignore the fact that he is America's president and that he has only recently sought initiatives to help poor minority communities. Let's just pretend that he is one of us. He's just your average hardworking black person. Now open your eyes and look at the reality of the situation. Barack Obama is neither poor  nor middle class, he is securely situated among the upper class. He is a wealthy, half white, American. Why can't his name be on an elite school in a wealthy, predominantly white part of town? Do you know how many poor predominantly black schools are named after white presidents? Maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way, but I like the idea of a presumably mostly white school being named after a non-white president. Let's stop talking about being post-racial and let's actually make some progress towards that goal. Barack Obama is not solely black America's president, so stop treating him like he is. Okay black people?

Monday, September 15, 2014

To be Rich in America

I went to visit my mother on Saturday and she was watching this show called Young, Hot and Crooked or something like that. The first episode was okay. The second one started and I saw the name Ethan Couch and I asked my mother to turn it because I couldn't watch it without getting upset. She wanted to see how the show portrayed the story, so she didn't turn the channel. 

I watched the show and just as I predicted, I was livid by the end of it. In fact, I'm still upset. How a person can kill four people and badly injure two others and only have to go to rehab is beyond me. I don't care if his parents were terrible parents (which they were) or if he was never really punished for his previous crimes (which he wasn't). I care about the message that was sent to the families of the dead and the injured. I care about the message that was sent to Ethan. If ever there was a time for a young man to meet with consequences, surely this was it. The worst part was that it wasn't Ethan's first drunk driving offense. He had already been given a slap on the wrist and yet, here he was again, only this time he had blood on his hands and his parents, his attorneys and the judge who let him go essentially told him to wash off the blood and move on with his life. One would think that the cure to Affluenza (being so rich that you never have to deal with the  consequences of your actions) would be to have to deal with the consequences of your actions. And to anyone dumb enough to argue that 10 years probation and rehab is a real consequence, I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that there are people in jail for petty things like not paying tickets. This kid killed four people and was not sentenced to any jail time. 

I truly hope that the boy's family somehow paid off the judge because that is easier for me to swallow than the thought that the Affluenza defense worked. 

The verdict proved what poor people in this country have always known: the justice system is different for the rich. Do rich people sometimes go to jail for their crimes? Of course! Do poor people sometimes get off for their crimes? Yes! But being able to afford the best attorneys often comes with lighter sentences or no sentence at all. It is an advantage that is not known to poor people and I don't say that as a way of begrudging rich people for having money, but rather as a way of pointing out that the justice system favors them.

The justice system never has been and probably never will be fair, nor is it equal. In America, just as in most of the world, money talks.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Even When Frankie J. Grande Loses, He Wins

Okay, so I'm a Zankie stan. I want a friendship like theirs, minus the whole backstabbing part. I've been waiting for this day for weeks now. Frankie J. Grande is going to the jury, but even as he leaves, he has won in so many different ways that I have to take a moment to acknowledge his blessings in disguise. 

Frankie came on the show and met Zachary Rance. Zankie was born because of the two of them and Zach was right when he said that they now share an experience with each other that separates their friendship from the friendships they had with people before they entered the house. My only wish for Zankie is that the friendship remains and judging by the fact that Zach returned to the house and danced on the table in Frankie's jacket, I think the friendship will be fine: Win

When the whole house was against Frankie, his Battle of the Block partner, Caleb, decided to sit out the competition. All of the other houseguests thought it was a great idea and it would be epic; which was partially true, because Frankie's solo win and the fight that ensued were epic. These people thought that Caleb could do more damage sitting out of a two person competition than he could by participating and sabotaging from within. Caleb sitting out of the competition saved Frankie because Frankie was able to win by himself. Had Caleb opted to participate and sabotage, Frankie would have lost and he and Zach would have separated on bad terms. (Yes, most things will come back to Zankie): Win

Betraying Zach revealed a different side of Frankie. After Frankie gave his alliance what they wanted by backdooring Zach and getting him evicted from the house, Frankie fell in to a depression. He moped around the house and mostly slept and ate. He held on to Zach's pillow like it was a security blanket and everyone with eyes watching the live feeds noticed that Frankie just wasn't himself. He was in such a bad place that the people in the Diary Room gave him more drugs to help him get out of his funk. Though the Frankie Haters refused to acknowledge Frankie's broken heart, the Zankie fans were watching it and seeing it as confirmation that what Frankie felt for Zach was real and that all of Frankie's vile comments about Zach were nothing more than bravado because no one spends 
days mourning the loss of someone they truly hate or don't care about: Win

Some people may think that the hatred towards Frankie is a bad thing. However, it is great for Frankie. There are now articles written about him with his name in the title because people (outside of his fans) actually know who he is and care enough to either love him or love to hate him. The fact that #FrankiewinPOV and #AnyonebutFrankie were trending on Twitter during the Power of Veto competition tells you something about how much people care about Frankie. There were four other people in the veto competition, but the only person people could talk about was Frankie: Win

Frankie is such a polarizing figure that people hang on his every word. Every vile comment that he makes is blown out of proportion and made in to something horrific and any kind words or acts are often viewed with skepticism or ignored as if they never happened. People figuratively light the torches and bring out the pitchforks when Frankie speaks. Frankie made several comments about Zach's weight, which was an ongoing joke in the house because of Zach's eating habits and lack of a work out routine, and people were outraged yet these same people refused to acknowledge the time when Frankie whispered to the girls that he would still want Zach even if he gained 15 or 30 pounds. Frankie commented that another contestant should kill herself. It was said behind the contestant's back but people acted like he literally meant it and some people were outraged by the comment, yet when Frankie said that he kind of wanted to kill himself, these same people who view suicide so seriously, didn't seem to care or take it seriously because everyone knew that he didn't mean it. I hate the phrase "kill yourself." I wish it was never spoken by anyone, but it is. I cringe when people say it, especially when they actually say it to a person's face because you never know what a person is going through or how much mental strength they have left at any given moment. Frankie said that he wanted to euthanize Zach with a slow drip and take away all of his hope and the same people who ignored guys threatening to jump Frankie and beat him to a pulp the week before were suddenly up in arms that Frankie wanted to kill Zach when Frankie was clearly talking about Zach the Big Brother contestant and not Zach the person. Frankie jokingly said that Caleb and Cody should take all of Victoria's virginities and people immediately yelled that it was a rape joke, because clearly the only way to take a woman's virginity is to rape her. These people who were so outraged by Frankie's tasteless comment (and I do agree it was tasteless), weren't bothered when poor Victoria made comments about murdering people or when Caleb threatened physical violence towards Victoria. In fact, a few of the guys have made comments about hitting their female cast members. I think one of the guys said something about throwing one of the girls over the balcony. Where were all the anti-domestic violence people? Why didn't they seize the opportunity to explain that violence against women is not a joking matter and blow up #bb16 with their tweets? The answer is simple: someone other than Frankie said it. Frankie makes vile comment after vile comment because he tries to sensationalize everything. He loves the attention and saying outrageous things gets you attention like nothing else. Though I personally could do without a lot of his comments and I personally don't find him even a tenth as funny as Zach found him, I get that he's a shit talker. The only way to shut down a shit talker is to ignore them. Creating Twitter frenzies and writing TMZ articles and Bustle articles and blogs (yes, I'm guilty too, but I acknowledge and accept my guilt) that they can read when they get out of the house is only adding fuel to the fire and as such, Frankie is clearly the center of attention, which is exactly where he wants to be: Win

Most people might think that the Rewind button was the worst thing to happen to Frankie, but I think that it was the best thing to happen to him because as long as everything goes according to plan, Frankie will have one of the most poetic exits in Big Brother history. Derrick and Cody lied to Frankie that Zach was playing him. Frankie turned on Zach. The next week, Derrick and Cody lied to Zach that Frankie had spear headed the "get Zach out" campaign and Zach turned on Frankie and spear headed the "get Frankie out campaign," thus cementing Frankie choosing Derrick and Cody over Zach. When Frankie was in power, Frankie pulled Caleb off the block and replaced him with Zach and sent Zach packing. He admitted to Zach that it was a game move and that on a personal level, he didn't want to send Zach home. Needless to say, Zach was evicted and Frankie mourned for a few days then doped himself up and kept playing the game. Frankie seemed to be bonding with Caleb. Their friendship blossomed after Zach left, yet Caleb heavily considered backdooring Frankie two weeks ago and now, after being manipulated by Derrick and Cody, Caleb has chosen them over  his deal with Frankie. Caleb was the person that Frankie trusted the most out of everyone left in the house. Caleb was the person who Frankie pulled off the block and protected from eviction. Caleb was the person who Frankie didn't even consider nominating last week and yet Caleb had zero hesitation about nominating Frankie. To put this in poetic terms: Frankie picked Caleb over Zach because he thought keeping Caleb was better for his game and now it is Caleb who is the figurehead (because Derrick is the true leader) of Frankie's downfall. Karma may be a bitch, but she's a bitch with a sense of humor. I couldn't have written it better and the producers of Big Brother couldn't have hoped for a better ending: Win

As much as Frankie pretends to not care what people think, I think that he does. I think that being evicted and hearing louder boos than Christine would have genuinely hurt his feelings. I'm sure he would have laughed it off and tried to be witty about it, but when the cameras stopped rolling, I think he would have been saddened by it. People were chomping at the bit just to be able to go to the live eviction of Frankie and boo him, yet these same people rejoiced when he didn't win the veto last night. Of all the weeks for Frankie to be evicted, he has the dumb luck of being evicted during a taped eviction, which means that he will walk out to a staged audience and thus rob his haters of the opportunity to boo him louder and longer than any contestant has ever been booed before: Win

In terms of money, Frankie is walking away with his stipend and the Team America money: Win

When Frankie leaves the house, he will have made a name for himself. His fame (or infamy, depends on who you ask) has increased because of the show and he will still be Ariana Grande's brother: Win

 Frankie will be leaving a week before the show ends and he will be in the Finale with the jury, so he will only be missing a week of air time: Win

Frankie's best win, however, is one that we can't see. I don't know anything about production, but according to people who do, the 5th contestant is the last one that gets to spend a week in the jury house. According to the rumor, if Frankie had been voted out 4th, he would go to a hotel and be alone until he met with the jury for discussion. If this is true, then the fans who don't want him near Zach, probably should have been cheering for Frankie to win the veto. Now, instead of Frankie rushing in to Zach's arms and trying to kiss him in front of a live audience and most likely being rejected and completely embarrassed, Frankie and Zach get to spend the week together, away from the cameras and the pressures of the game. They get to define their friendship and their boundaries without us watching and analyzing their every move and without outside people telling them what they should do and reminding them of the ways that they have hurt each other. In terms of Frankie and Zach's personal relationship, neither could have asked for a better opportunity: Win

Everything seems to be working out pretty good for Frankie. I may not be a huge Frankie fan, but I am a huge Zankie fan and Frankie's eviction is a good thing. I can't get over this guy's luck. It's ridiculous. He was literally in a win/win situation.