Beyonce

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I’ve never been a Beyonce fan. Now, before you pick up your pitchforks and light your torches let me explain. I’m not refuting the talent or the beauty of the so-called “Queen Bey” just the unquestioning loyalty of her “bey-hive”.

When people talk about Beyonce its as though they’re describing a religious experience. I can not tell you how many times I’ve seen people light up when they start to talk about her, they instantly start to glow at just the mention of this person that many of them have never seen in person, let alone met. And any mining of YouTube comments will disclose to you just how ruthless her fans can be if you dare diss the queen.

So I’m always met with a profound since of surprise (disappointment really) when I listen to her music or watch one of her videos and it doesn’t live up to the hype. This is Beyonce who has been performing for people essentially since she exited the womb, Beyonce who was topping the charts and compared to the likes of Tina Turner and Diana Ross as a teenager, Beyonce who is the perfect example of what every man wants in a woman both physically and emotionally, Beyonce who has entertained a long list of foreign dignitaries and made it onto the President’s shortlist of preferred entertainers. And yet when I listen to her music all I hear are poorly crafted sexual metaphors cascaded in artful arrangements and propped up on dope beats, and in those moments I can’t help but think to myself that, “this is not a religious experience, this is just good marketing.”

I fully understand that Beyonce is an artist and that its her job to be provocative and out spoken but I don’t understand why it is that people just gobble it up. Can we take a moment to think about this, how the poster child for being an “independent woman” is now happily married and yet still makes music for single people? How despite claims of being “more than just his (Jay-Z’s) little wife,” she has essentially become just that. When Jay-Z isn’t himself featured in a song, she’s at least written about him. Can we talk about how she compiled a digital archive of every moment she has ever spent on camera? That alone is erring on the side of megalomania.

Can we talk about how the girl who was at one time reticent to say the word “bitch” now throws cuss words around left and right. And I’m glad she feels “confident to express herself and shit,” but I appreciated it when she had generational consciousness. Part of her fame is propped up on the hopes and dreams of little girls wanting to be her and now she is telling those girls to bow down? And no the addition of “flawless” to the end of that song does not mitigate the initial message “bow down”. You should not command people no matter how spiteful and conniving they have been towards you to “bow down” nor can you dehumanize and call them bitches just because you’ve ascertained an ample portion of confidence and a feeling of self-worth. And being an adult who says that only encourages children to do so. This is not becoming of a wife and mother, and I understand that Beyonce couldn’t care less about what I think of her, but what about Blue? Is that the attitude that she wants her daughter to have towards whatever antagonist she may face? And further more, how is it that at this point in her career Beyonce doesn’t know that the best way to deal with your haters is to stand back and let your success speak for itself? But I digress.

I guess the point to all of this over-analyzing is me trying to explain to the world why I’m not a Beyonce fan and why I probably never will be. I know it seems down-right wrong and somewhat sacrilegious not to be a fan of someone of such talent and beauty but I just don’t buy it. I always expect more from her than what I get.

Toaster Strudel

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Here we have just one in a series of several very weird Pillsbury Toaster Strudel commercials. In each of the commercials children of various families sit down to a boring conventional breakfast only to have the fictional character, Hans Strudel, break down their doors and deliver the joy and delight that is a warm toaster strudel. Now the one thing that I would like to know, besides why it is that Pillsbury decided to launch this unbelievably bizarre string of commercials (other than the obvious and basic reason of making money), is why the 13 year old in this commercial appears to have a hangover. What could possibly be going on in his barely teenage life that is sooo horrible?

I Don’t Care If You Touch My Hair

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     I don’t care if you touch my hair, but if you do please keep one thing in mind: I am human. I can’t speak for everyone but I know whats most upsetting to me as a black person when people just walk up to me and start touching my hair isn’t so much the fact that I’m being touched as it is the dehumanization that usually accompanies such an action. 

     There are some places where the concept of personal space is non-existent but that is not the case here in U.S. We all walk around in our little bubbles, and even when we’re waiting in line in the most cramped of places we somehow manage to save a little bit of space in between each person in order to preserve that space. So it always comes as a shock when someone I don’t know just reaches out and touches me. And its even more jarring when that person continues their intrusion into my personal bubble by ogling at my hair and remarking about how soft it is or how they “wish they had black people hair.”

     There has been a mystification and objectification of anything vaguely pertaining to black culture because a lot of people don’t understand it and are frankly willing to wallow in their ignorance. And that may seem like a harmless thing to do, but it really is not. You see, the manner in which many act when they engage in this behavior is similar to that of child at a petting zoo. It may be fun and interesting to touch the hair of llama and remark about how it feels but I am not an animal and I shouldn’t be subjected to same treatment. The fact remains that hair is hair is hair is hair and that we are all humans connected to each other through the phylogenic tree of life. But  just because the protein structures that protrude from my follicles fold in a manner different than yours and create a different texture it does not give you the right to dehumanize me.

As I said, I don’t care if you touch my hair, I really don’t. Tell me its pretty or that you like the way the style compliments my face, everyone could use a good compliment now and again. Just don’t act as though this natural part of my anatomy is some alien substance from another planet. I’m a human being, and you are too.