Friday, November 26, 2010

What Not To Say At The Family Dinner

High-Res Stock Photography: Mature man in front of Christmas tree…
It's the most wonderful, politically incorrect time of the year! The season of family gatherings, dinner and conversation. For the first time in years, I went home for Thanksgiving. Had a great time with my family, my first porkless Thanksgiving -they didn't stop cooking it, I just stopped eating it- and met my gorgeous niece. I also had a few epiphanies about safe conversations for family from infant to wizened Big Mama. I believe that all families should feel comfortable sharing... But in the appropriate setting. The appropriate setting does not include extended family, people you see once or twice a year, toddlers who have yet to grapple with complex ideas like birth control and elderly matrons who refuse to switch from a VCR to a DVD player. There's too many variables, and way too much room for error.

Unfortunately, I didn't have these epiphanies in time to save your Thanksgiving dinner, but I can save Christmas. So here goes... a few subjects you may want to save for another time. Like the comment section of a blog, Youtube video, or during Taboo night.

1. Unplanned pregnancies. These things happen. It isn't always a happily married couple who gets preggers. Sometimes... cousin Carol just shows up and says, "I'm due in 3 months!" If Carol isn't accompanied by the soon-to-be father, and makes no mention of him, neither should you. Why? Because if she wanted to talk about it, Carol would. But she doesn't. She just wants you to ask if it's a boy or girl and buy the appropriately colored onesie. Nothing takes the candied out of yams like a debate with Uncle Jay about why the most recent generation is hellbent on living a life of sin.

2. Our recent generation's intentions to live a life of sin. Yeah, older people think that. Hip-hop, skinny jeans, real-life Barbies, Twitter and Craig's List personal ads are a sign of the Apocalypse to our living forefathers, and they completely forget that their parents thought the exact same thing about their generation. Somebody came up with dildos, platform shoes, heroine, and breast implants, and that wasn't us. This conversation always ends with a 16 year old cousin screaming, "Pops! You just don't get Jay-Z! He's the voice of the nation and if you don't realize his genius then you'll never get me!" Sigh.

3. The Single Women Over 19's "Old Maid" Status. I know. You got married at 19 and dropped 4 kids by the time you were 22. But the 19 year olds I know are in their 2nd year of college, changing their major for the 5th time, experimenting with 4 Loko and are ill-equipped to get married, much less raise children. Let it go... 

4. Eddie Long. Trust me on this one. 

Anything else I left out? We can save Christmas, one tip at a time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hilariously Ridiculous Lyrics in Recent Hip-Hop

I know, you guys think I hate hip-hop, despite my ode to it, a few months ago. But I don't. It's like a relative; you make fun of them to show them you love them... right? And sometimes, we're so busy whipping our hair, wiping ourselves down, or stanky legging, that we don't realize how ridiculous it sounds. But I do. I listen to it and it provides consistent comic relief.

Some people would argue that the music I'm about to describe isn't hip-hop, that it's just rap music. People like my brother have this huge philosophical hang up with commercial versus underground, but my brother also looks like he's doing the Short Bus Shawty move in photos sometimes, so how seriously can I take him? Also, if an artist is truly "underground", how do we even know they exist?!?!

Anyway, I take this friendly rib at hip-hop because if I'm going to be forced to hear it when I go out, I may as well get to exploit it.

This list is by no means, the definitive or comprehensive list of laughable lyrics, simply, the ones I can recall at the moment.

1. Nicki Minaj - Your Love - "I think I met him in the sky; When I was a geisha, he was a samurai, somehow I understood him when he spoke Thai." Just that quick, Nicki has contributed to the miseducation of the Negro. Geishas are traditional Japanese female entertainers, and Samurai are high ranking Japanese military officers. So it's possible that a geisha could have met a samurai. Enter, Thai, a language commonly spoken in... Thailand. Add to this, their setting is "the sky." Cause you know, members of the Samurai and geisha fly... Uh... what?!?!?! If I overhear a child telling their mother, "Mom, let's go to Thailand and meet some geisha and samurai," I won't blame the child. I'll blame Nicki.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Don't See Color is Hogwash and Here's Why

People Are Like Eggs

A few years ago, I overheard a woman talking to her son. She said, "People are like these eggs. Some of them are brown, some of them are white, but they're all the same on the inside." At the time, I was truly awed by this mother's wisdom. What a great way to explain different races to a child! But for adults the whole "We're all the same, just different colors" is dangerous and ignores the ongoing, complex race relations issues in our country.

How Inconvenient!
The first time I heard someone say "I don't see color", I thought, "Well, that has to be an inconvenience." How does one go about life not recognizing someone's skin color? Martin Luther King proclaimed, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Not once did he mention them being stripped of their color, an integral part of who we are.