11th Jul2007

Four Year Blogiversary – A Look Back

by Will

“‘Cause you said forever, and ever. Who knew?”

Ahh…a cute White girl, eating watermelon. Be still my Negro heart!

Anyway, four years ago today, this blog was created. Yeah, I know I celebrate a *lot* of anniversaries on this thing, but this is the real deal. Williambrucewest.com has only existed since 2004, when I bought the URL. However, the blog portion, “The World According to a Russian Exchange Student”, was created on July 11th, 2003. It used to be found at waynemanor.blogpsot.com, which somehow belongs to someone else now…

So, 4 years of rambling. The odd part is that I feel my life has come full circle. I’m almost right back where I started. There’s not a lot of progression found in these posts. Sure, there are broad character arcs, from the Natalie saga (“I’m so in love with this lesbian who doesn’t love me back”) to the H&M rants (“I can’t stand this place and I’m too good to be here.”). God, I can be such a drama queen! But have I really grown as a person? Is there any evidence of that? I don’t know about that.

In 4 yrs, I’ve documented 4 full-time jobs, 2 part-time jobs, 2 girlfriends (in “real-time”), 1 car, and 3 moves. I look back at my first week of posts, and I still feel the same way about much of that stuff. Not much personal growth there.

I’ve watched this site change from “the thing I do when I get bored at work”, to the “please read my blog because I’m funny and I really depend on attention from others” phase, and now the “hey, I’m gonna write this shit because it’s funny to me, and at least Tarek, Marcus and James (and possibly Austin) are reading it” phase.

I’ve gone back and forth between the “I’m only going to riff on pop culture, but not talk about myself too much” stage to the “I’m gonna wear my heart on my sleeve” phase (see aforementioned lesbian and the “Alouise” saga). Contrary to popular belief, I’m actually a pretty private person. I love getting in everyone else’s business, but I don’t like them in mine. That’s why I’ll write about observations, and crazy situations in which I’ve found myself, but you’re not likely to find me in a discussion regarding how I “feel”. That’s why I think I like the pop culture stuff more. Going forward, I think we’re going to gravitate more in that direction.

I don’t really know what I set out to do when I started this. I mean, blogs were somewhat cutting edge back then. They were seen as “the next big thing”, and while Blogger existed to help you along, blogs weren’t standard with each Facebook, Friendster, and Myspace profile like they are now. In fact, Facebook didn’t even exist back then, while Myspace was still just for high school drop-outs. My, how times have changed!

Anyway, I think I just created this thing as a vanity project. I thought I was funny and I wanted attention. Every now and then, I’d have a great post (in my mind, anyway), and I’d aspire to greatness. I’d think that my site would become a destination website, where people would come for the funny. I thought I could be an everyman version of Wonkette. Why do you think my URL is my name? It was pretty much a way for me to maximize the attention I got, but maximizing exposure.

Here we are, 4 yrs later. Wonkette’s pretty much a shell of its old self. I go to sites like elephantlarry.com, and think, “Now, that’s funny!” Me? I’m kind of a hack. I think that’s become more apparent in my recent humor, as I’ve devolved into BET “Man, aren’t White people crazy?!” humor, and my liberal use of “Negro” and “Nigga”. That’s the easy way out. That’s the Comicview approach, but it’s not going to cut it in most situations. Especially seeing as how only 1.5 Black people even read this site.

Don’t misunderstand me; this isn’t a pity party, but more of a bit of introspection. So, where do we go from here? Why do I even keep this site going? Well, it’s all I’ve got. I’m at a point in my life where this is the one thing that’s truly mine, and it’s the one thing I’ve got control over. It’s my canvas to do with as I please, and it’s my vehicle for expressing myself. I don’t do this for anyone but myself. There are no more “why haven’t you posted in awhile” or “when are you going to continue such and such story?” comment posts. No, I’m more about, “I feel like talking about dating shows today, and that’s how it’s gonna be.” Sure, I get the occasional “Anonymous” comment (even if you don’t have a Blogger account, you could still write your name), but it’s not really an exercise in audience participation anymore. And I think I’m fine with that. I’m cool in my little cyber shell. I think it’s the Model of Blog Identitiy Development. Jenn went through the same thing as she dealt with the transition from personal blogger to feminist blogger to Asian American Activist destination site. The cycle ebbs and flows, but if you get too wrapped up in it, you start pandering to an audience. My audience thinks like me. If I get the occasional straggler from another site, I welcome the company, but we’re not going to have a discourse. Up until now, I didn’t even respond to comments. I think I’m going to change that going forward. But I’m not here to change lives. I’m just here to live mine, and sometimes take you along for the ride. If that sounds like something you might like, take your shoes off and sit a spell, ’cause I’m sure I’ve got a story to entertain you. In any case, I think I’ll break character and *not* end this post with an ellipsis. Thanks for putting up with me all these years!

18th Jan2007

An Open Letter to Dr. Cliff Huxtable

by Will

“I’m English, go on, deport me.”

An Open Letter to Dr. Cliff Huxtable:

Dear Dr. Huxtable,
It has come to my attention that your skills in medicine are questionable, at best. Why do I say this? Well, Dr. Huxtable, you endured medical school, did your residency, and you have established a nice life for yourself and your family. But that’s just it; let’s talk about your family for a minute, Dr. Huxtable. After observing you all for over 20 years, I am shocked that you never once realized that 2 of your daughters, as well as your granddaughter, are half White.

Now, I’ve seen the rest of your family, Dr. Huxtable. To borrow from Maury Povich, I know that you are NOT those kids’ father. Now, Olivia is actually a step-grandchild, so we don’t know what the deal was with her mom. That Navy guy could’ve pulled into port and gotten any Becky or Laura pregnant. No, Dr. Huxtable. My beef is with YOU!

How can you just play dumb and assume that you are the father of Denise and Sandra? I was never good at biology (I always felt that there was more gravity to physics! bah-dum-dum!), but I think I get how this works. Now, we can go the whole dominant vs. recessive gene route, but I’ve seen you, and I’ve seen Mrs. Huxtable. And I regret to break it to ya, but your wife succombed to “The Fever” about 30 years ago. Now, I’ve seen your wife’s sister; If you’d slept with Debbie Allen, that would begin to explain things. Wait…is that it? DID you sleep with Debbie Allen? Because that REALLY would explain things!

But for now, I call shenanigans! If you think I’m dumb enough to fall for this ruse, you’ve got to think twice, Dr. Huxtable. However, if you honestly believe that those two girls are your kids, well I think I’ll be finding another doctor. I wonder how I can get in touch with that Dr. Harry Weston…

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Will West

20th Nov2006

Where The Bratz At?!

by Will

“Welcome to the layer cake, son.”

So, it’s been awhile. Not gonna talk about the main job yet, but I will say that I’ve gone back to Toys R Us for the holidays. Not sure if I’m going to stay on, but it’s certainly as surprising to me as it is to you. The other day, I was telling someone that I feel like an old, grizzled cop when I put on that uniform. The whole sense of, “You don’t know how many times I’ve looked in the mirror and said ‘Never Again!’.” But, as with any retail job, the crappiest part is the customers.

Back at my old TRU, it was pretty ghetto, and that sucked. But this TRU is in Columbia, known for is affluence. For those of you who read “Gatsby”, it’s very “new money”. But I’ll go a step further than that. It’s essentially White trash who have somehow come into money. You know, contractors who charge too much for work, or the final season of Roseanne where they won the lottery. Butterface trophy wives of Redskins and the lot. Yeah, by switching stores, I went from hair weaves to Nascar quicker than I thought humanly possible.

Well, every Christmas, regardless of store or location, I have the same archnemesis: the Black mother. And why is she my nemesis? Well, she’s upset because she can’t find the Black version of the hottest toy of the season. Be it Amazing Amanda, Cabbage Patch, or even Holiday Barbie, she wants the Black doll. Now, what Mrs. Black Mother doesn’t seem to understand is that she is chasing the niche of a niche. Not only does she want the hot toy, but she wants a variant of the hot toy. I’m sorry, sweetie, but they don’t allocate them equally.

Now, I can see her position, but I really just don’t care. Yes, I know that’s callous. And maybe my views will change if I have daughters. Sure, these women want their children to have toys that represent them. A toy to help solidify their sense of identity. Something to instill racial pride. And this is all admirable. This is also all bullshit.

Toys only have that effect if you reinforce it. If you point out to a child that this doll is different, and make that your sole focus, then they will manifest that and you have achieved your goal of racializing “play”. But if you just give them a toy, and let them sort it out, it ain’t that deep. IF the child asks, “Mommy, why doesn’t this doll have hair like me?” then you might even have the chance to establish a dialogue as to people’s differences. But just because you get Tashiba a white Barbie, it doesn’t mean that she’s gonna go out and join the Republican party and buy a Volvo.

I always hate these mothers because they take it out on ME. Like I was the one who ordered all of the White dolls. The other day, I told a chick to write a letter if she was so mad. What I’d love to see, though, is a White parent ask for a White doll of a predominantly Black line. I’d love for some soccer mom to come in and ask, “Do you have any…White Bratz?”(editor’s note: these DO exist, but people never really ask for them)

The funny thing to me, though, is the way that these encounters always play out. First of all, I will watch these mothers walk past several White employees just to get to me. And even after they’ve gone out of their way to find “a black guy”, a “brotha” a safe harbor of sorts, they still can’t be forthcoming with me. So, that’s when I have some fun.

They’ll approach me and ask, “Where are the Barbie’s?” And of course, this is while we’re IN the freakin’ Barbie aisle!

“Umm..they’re all around you, ma’am.”

And that’s when she’ll reply, “No, the other Barbies. You ain’t got no other dolls?”

Loving where this is going, I’ll ask, “Well, what kind of other dolls are you talking about?”

And this is the kicker, and they ALL do this, she’ll ask, “You ain’t got no ***** dolls?” Now, let me explain here. This is when she says “Black”, but she doesn’t actually say it. She mouths it. It’s kinda like those Cingular commercials about the dropped calls. As if to say that we can’t let The Man hear about our plaything plotting.

And at this point, I have a myriad of responses, ranging from the polite: “No, ma’am. Those are always the first to go.” to the obnoxious: “No ma’am, it seems that the toy companies just don’t really like Black people.” Yes, I HAVE said that. And I lived to tell about it.

At this point, regardless of what I say or how I say it, she erupts with, “I don’t want no White doll! Why they think I want a white doll?” And if I’m lucky, this tirade ends with a “Where the Bratz at?”

Now, don’t get me started on Bratz. Sure, these women are upset that there aren’t enough Black Barbie’s, but I feel it is a FAR worse crime to fill that hole with a Bratz doll. Sure, that shit is popular, but it’s the minstrel show of toys. If you’re afraid of toys giving your child a poor self image, then you sure as Hell shouldn’t be bying them Bratz. I mean, the name alone. It’s like they’re trying to reclaim the term or something. A “brat” is a BAD thing. Not something endearing. And there’s a reason there are no Black people in anime. You know why? Because they’d look like fucking Bratz! God, those dolls are HIDEOUS! And ignorant.

The other night, I saw a talking Bratz doll on the shelf, and just to test a theory, I pressed the button. Do you know what that plastic bitch said to me?

“Like, have you ever had a bad hair day?”

Huh? I HATE those trifling things, but they’re just as popular as ever. But the only people who buy them are ghetto Black people and ashamed White people. It’s true. I actually enjoy watching the disparity. As I said before, A Black family will come in, all, “Where the Bratz at?” And Woo! You get them to that aisle, and they can’t spend that welfare check quickly enough. But the White families approach me just like the Black mom looking for Barbie. I’ll get a White women who kinda looks down, or can’t really make eye contact. She’ll sheepishly ask to be pointed in the direction of the Bratz stuff. Yesterday, I had a dad who just looked exhausted. He said that their daughter was crazy about the stuff and she made them redo her bedroom in Bratz decor. First off, only a White guy would say “Our daughter made us do so-and-so.” And he looked so forlon and ashamed. All I could muster was a “I’m so sorry for you. Hopefully, she’ll grow out of that phase soon.”

So, in closing, if you want a Black doll, do the talking with your wallet. Don’t buy White Barbie, but don’t buy Bratz either. Hold out until something comes along to your liking, but don’t just jump on the first ethnic thing to come along. Buying your kid a Bratz doll is far more degrading than having to watch her as she combs Barbie’s long, blonde hair. And if you’re THAT mad about it, write a letter. Hell, start your own toy company. Maybe Michael Richards will even donate some of his Seinfeld money to help you get started (Man, that reference is gonna be SO dated when I re-read this in a year!). But don’t shoot the messenger because I actually know where the Black doll bodies are buried.

I don’t even know what that means, but I felt the need to go out on a strong note. And I think this exposition just killed any attempt at that. Seacrest, out!

22nd Sep2006

My Tribute To UPN & The WB

by Will

“The Warrant!”

So, I have to say, watching the final clip of The WB gets me all choked up. C’mon, Michigan J. takes a bow for the last time! I mean, it’s easy to talk trash about that network, but it truly DID define a generation. It may not have been YOUR generation, nor particularly one that you liked, but it’s branding power was unsurpassed. I mean, this is shown by the fact that it officially went off the air. It had a mission to say farewell to its “creations”, for lack of a better word. What did UPN do? Nothing. They shipped “Smackdown” over to the CW affiliates, and quietly shut their doors. Why? Because UPN never formed an identity. There was a time when it wanted to be “The Star Trek Network”, but it found itself, instead, being the “Crappy Trek Spin-Off Network”. I mean, anytime a network has to cancel Star Trek, in THIS day and age, a franchise that can survive in SYNDICATION, there is a problem.

Sure, The WB bounced around to find its place. There were the early days when it was The Wayans Bros Network, and every show was black except for 7th Heaven. Man, I would LOVE to have been a fly on the wall at those initial launch parties. I’ll bet it was like when a White family accidentally wanders into the ghetto. You’ve got a young Beverly Mitchell & a surpringly-simian Jessica Biel being sized up by John Witherspoon and that guy who played Nick Freno.

After awhile, though, UPN said, “Wait, we want some Black people, too!”. And our buddies at The Frog said, “Good riddance, you can have ’em!”. And that’s how we ended up in the situation where UPN’s biggest shows were Girlfriends and Smackdown, while The WB was a STARMAKER. No, don’t laugh. That network simply MADE stars. You might not’ve thought much of them when you first saw them. I remember thinking, “Man, those Wayans’ll never be as famous as Keenan Ivory.” Or “Man, I really wish Jamie Foxx would get as famous as he deserves to be.” Or even “I really think, with some work, that girl who plays ‘Mary Camden’ could be kinda hot.” And it was like the WB read my heart, heard my wishes, and made them a reality. Need further proof? Watch that final clip (it’s all over youtube), and you’ll notice a familiar celebrity right before Michigan bows: Jamie Foxx. Say what you will (especially you, ‘Diz), but this network helped that man get an Oscar. It kept him working and making the connections that got him in Any Given Sunday, which led to Ali, which led to Ray. Sure, he was on “In Living Color”, but he didn’t get movies back then. That changed with The WB.

Sure, it was the Abercrombie & Fitch of networks, but that was its thing! You want an Aaron Sorkin show to succeed, you take it to NBC. You got a show that’s loose on plot, but full of pretty kids, you take it to The WB. For instance, I LOVE One Tree Hill. I mean, I actually bought the season sets. But that show has no real plot whatsoever. I feel like I’m watching “Swans Crossing” all over again. What would’ve made an above-average afterschool special about the effects of teen pregnancy and the pressures of high school baseketball on affluent white kids, is now entering it’s fourth season! That’s syndication level right there, and that’s where the real money comes in. It’s The WB, baby. It could do no wrong.

Sure, there were a lot of misses. A LOT of misses. But you know what’s weird? The WB ONLY knew how to make stars. It didn’t know how to resurrect has-beens, nor did it know what to do with people who had achieved some level of stardom. Remember “Kirk”? I do. There was no way, especially since he started evangelizing, they were gonna revive Kirk Cameron’s career. Robert Townshend’s “The Parent’hood”? That pale attempt at The Cosby Show trudged along for a couple of seasons, but Townshend, surprisingly, had too big of a name. If a show had any cast member that you’d EVER heard of prior to the show, The WB had problems promoting it.

BUT, you get a show, cast a busty chick named Nikki Cox, whose previously acting was “the blind girl” on a couple episodes of California Dreams, you had a hit. Who cared if it was “Married…with Children: the Remix”. That show lasted 11 years, so surely this would last half of that. And it did. Make a show about some REALLY old looking 15 yr old in Cape Cod, who wants to direct films. Hire a bunch of cute kids who talk about big things. You have a hit. Hell, completley rip off the X-Files and cast a bunch of Abercrombie models. You have a hit.

The WB also learned the value of “keeping it in the family”. The Disney Channel does the same thing. Say you have a guest star, who’s really charamatic and the audience seems to love him. Well, cast him in his own show. We already know the people love him. Who cares what the shows’s about. We need a pilot shot, and we need it yesterday!

Plus, I’ve got a secret for you: I always wanted to be a cast member of a WB show. Why The WB? Because of the friggin’ backlot! It was always a party. In every promo, Keri Russell might be leaving the “Felicity” set and grab coffee with Allyson Hannigan from “Buffy”. It seemed like such a communal atmosphere. They let us into their world, but it also gave off the impression that they were people too, who were young, cool, and loved interracting with each other. I mean, who WOULDN’T love the idea of hitting on Soleil Moon Frye after she came off a long shoot on “Sabrina”? When those kids weren’t working, it seemed like there was always a party, and a singing cartoon frog to boot! Oh, man, I’m about to say “Dubba, dubba, dubba, dubba, dubba, dubba, double-yoo-bee, YEAH!”

For these reasons, and many others, I will miss the WB. Aside from what you saw on the screen, there was a lot of magic in the process that so many people take for granted. Whether or not you liked what it did, you still have to admit that it did “it”, whatever that might be, well. Now, looking at its metamorphosis, “The CW”, I don’t feel that much is going to change. In all honesty, it’s still The WB, just with Black Sunday. Kinda like in the old days. So, I hope that it continues to be a starmaker and I hope that we are simply closing a chapter on a story rather than the entire book. Until next time, take care of yourselves, and each other.

29th Aug2006

Joyce DeWitt Hair, The DCU, Craigslit?, and Jenna Von Oy’s Ass

by Will

“If he dies, he dies.”

So, I have neither the energy nor the internet connection to sit through typing the adventure I teased a few weeks ago. Don’t worry; it’s coming. But for now, I thought I’d go for a stream-of-consciousness post. Jenn calls hers “Cerebrogenesis” or something like that. I give you:

BRAINFARTS

-Why is it that, when people adopt little girls from China, they always get them that “Joyce DeWitt” haircut? I mean, do they come like that? Are there care instructions of which I am unaware?

-Why is the movie called “Idlewild”? Why didn’t they just call it what it really is: “Negron Rouge”?

-Man, was I wrong about “Snakes on a Plane” being the next best thing since Tivo.

-Man, was I wrong about Tivo.

-I’m about to stop watching TV. First, they cancel Blind Date & Elimidate, the shows that taught me to never count out the healing power of a hot tub. Then, they cancel Stargate SG-1, the show which cured me of my Trekitis. And now, they get rid of Horatio Sanz, Chris Parnell, and Maya Rudolph on SNL?!! The SG-1 announcement gets to me the most. This is a show that, for the past 4 years, has always written itself as if it were its last season. The last 4 season finales were meant as “show enders”. Sci-Fi KNEW that! And the one time the show sets itself up to actually extend into another season, Sci-Fi pulls the rug out from under them =(

-Philly is a REALLY dirty city.

-“Celebrity Duets” ain’t half bad, and I have an unhealthy affinity for Little Richard now.

-“MyNetwork TV” is the worst idea I’ve ever heard of. A network that shows nothing but translated Spanish soaps. Starring Morgan Fairchild. Fox isn’t even trying anymore…

-52’s good, but it ain’t THAT good.

-The DCU is like a cafeteria-style meal. You take one of the Big Three (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman) as your entree, and then you can add on sides dishes, like the “funny Justice League”, or the GL Corps, or the Legion. But you MUST have one of the Big Three. Beware: Wonder Woman’s the equivalent of the fish entree that they give to senior citizens. And it’s got bones.

-So, am I supposed to like Ray Nagin, or not? ‘Cause I could really go either way.

-Why is there no “craigslit.org”? The adult entertainment industry is missing out on a virtual goldmine!

-I guess there are enough fucked up people on craigslist.

-The “Alcoholic Sweats” would be a great name for a band.

-I wanna be a wedding singer.

-So, Jennine’s married now. Huh. Well, uh…if you’re still reading this thing, “Congrats!”

-Next person who announces an engagement gets a kidney punch.

-Destination wedding, my ass! I need witnesses!

-Professor Oglivee marries Mo’nique in “The Parkers” series finale?

-Man, Jenna Von Oy had a phat ass!

-Of course, I’d watch the black show for the white girl…

-Shit, I’ve gotta wake up in 4 hrs!

05th Aug2006

Affirmative Action Gets Supernatural: The Winston Zeddemore Story

by Will

“It’s either French, or you’re speaking with clicks!”

Winston-Zeddemore_opt

So, I’m gonna go for the double-whammy this time. For me and my constituents, I present the pop culture post. For any stragglers from the Reappropriate set, I give you the racism post. All wrapped in one. The topic of today’s post? Winston Zeddemore.

Yes, Winston Zeddemore, played by Ernie Hudson (voiced by Arsenio Hall, natch!), is also known as “The Black Ghostbuster”. But to look at most of the promotional pics of the Ghostbusters movie franchise, Mr. Zeddemore is given the short shrift. Now, growing up, I was much more well-versed in the animated Ghostbusters universe than the movies. Sure, I’d seen the movies, especially Ghostbusters 2, since Channel 5 showed that piece of shit every 6 weeks. In any regard, I lived for the cartoon. There was more attention given to Slimer, Egon was an alibino, and they even explained why/how Jeanine had changed over the years (best.episode.ever).What’s not to love? But as I got older, it became harder to watch the cartoons. Even learning that they were written by J. Michael Strazcynski, of Babylon 5 fame, was not enough to keep my attention. Plainly put, I had outgrown The Real Ghostbusters.

Not willing to give up on my past so quickly, I turned to the motion picture Ghostbusters universe. A darker place, where Slimer only had cameos, The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man was NOT an adorable mascot, and the black guy was just background scenery.

Now, let’s get something straight. I didn’t grow up wanting to be Winston. Nope, I wanted to be Egon, and if not him, then Peter. But I was glad that there was a Black guy. Sure, he didn’t do much, but he was there. Kinda how Indian kids must’ve felt about Haji in the Johnny Quest cartoons. His presence was enough for me. At least, in the cartoon. But the movies were a different story. As far as the movies, he was simply a precursor for Morgan Freeman. All the fool did was drive the damn car! As I’ve aged, it’s become clear that Winston Zeddemore was nothing but an affirmative-action hire.

I doubt you’d find anybody who, following a Ghostbusters viewing, would proclaim Winston as a hero to them. Nope. Nobody. Not even that crackhead on the corner. In fact, here’s a crackhead’s interpretation of Ghostbuster cool factor: “Muthafucka wit da glasses? Dat fucka was smart, son! Bitch who looked like dat dude from Groundhog Day? That playa was hilarious, son!”

I’ll bet it even extends to the supporting characters: “That bitch from Aliens? I’d hit dat. The bitch who answered the phones? I’d hit dat twice. Even that muthfucka from Honey I Shrunk The Kids was dope, yo.” (PLEASE, somebody find me a crackhead who references Honey, I Shrunk The Kids!)But ask the crackhead about Winston. “The brotha? Man, all that nigga did was drive the muthfuckin’ car.”

Face it, in the movie universe, there is no important role for Winston. I was reading the wiki entry for the movie, and they claim that Winston was supposed to be hired earlier in the film, but they waited until later because they wanted to show that the 3 guys had really fallen off their game and needed the extra help. “Extra help”?! All he did was DRIVE THE CAR. And it wasn’t even a cool car, like K.I.T.T. Don’t get me wrong, I’d go for a ride in the Ecto-1 in a heartbeat, but the thing was a repainted hearse with a siren on top. Not an ambulance, like some people believe, but a hearse. That’s some morbid shit. It gets worse and worse for poor Winston. The man is a glorified funeral director, driving around a bunch of crazy White guys who “bust” ghosts.

I think that was the most interesting aspect of Movie Winston: He didn’t even really believe in ghosts. He just needed a quick buck. The dude had been an NYC firefighter, and if ya ask me, he left that line of work not a minute too soon (OK, so it was 15 years sooner than he had to, but you get the point…). But he was of the mind of, “You crazy White dudes are gonna pay me to put on this jumpsuit as we ‘bust ghosts’?” He figured he needed to get while the gettin’ was good. Which, I guess, is still bad because it paints him as some layabout who’s out for an easy dollar. I don’t think he even realized he was strapping a nuclear reactor to his back.

But even outside of the storyline, my disdain extends to the real world aspects of the movie. Ernie Hudson gets next to no billing for that film. It’s Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Ackroyd, Sigourney Weaver, and in some cases even Annie Potts and Rick Moranis. “Ernie Hudson” is only listed when EVERYBODY is listed. He’s like right above the Gaffer. And I can’t look at him, to this day, without thinking, “Man, those dudes didn’t treat you right.” I mean, I guess he knew what he signed up for, and I’m glad he never had any of those popular delusions of “I’m opening new doors for the depiction of Blacks in film.” Hell, if he’d just been “Angry Black Guy”, a cliche we all know and love (Hi, Sam Jackson), he would’ve made more of an impact than “The black dude who drives the Ghostbusters around.”

The original script was written with Eddie Murphy in mind, but prior commitments prevented that. Now, I wonder if they would’ve shoved Eddie in the same role, or if he would’ve been “Wise-cracking, jive-talking, streetwise Black guy? Maybe he’d put a banana in an exhaust pipe, and then run off to China as they clean his royal penis. I wonder if Ernie Hudson wakes up nights, terrified by how badly he failed to fill the shoes of Eddie Murphy. It makes one wonder “what might have been”. Almost as much as the fact that “Beverly Hills Cop” was written for Sylvester Stallone, but that’s a story for another time…

12th Jun2006

Happy Loving Day, Race Traitors!

by Will

“…a job a million girls would die for.”

Happy Loving Day!

For the uninitiated, June 12th is Loving Day, which commemorates the 1967 Supreme Court case of Loving vs. Virginia, which legalized interracial relationships. For those of you who know me, this is the law that has kept me out of jail MANY times!

Now, you may laugh, but to most Black athletes, this day holds more importance than MLK’s birthday and 4th of July put together. Just ask Kobie. Or OJ. Hmm..I’d better come up with some better examples next year.

Anyway, go out and celebrate your right to intermingle. Christy, kiss a black guy! Becca, eat a black and white cookie! Devante, watch Soul Train just for that Asian chick! Rejoice, for this is your day!

11th Jun2006

Say Hello To My Little Friend!

by Will

“A computer actually does real work. ‘Nigger technology’ lets dumb niggers talk to other dumb niggers about dumb nigger shit. Nothing important was ever typed with thumbs.”

As many rappers will attest, I’ve discovered that the only way to properly watch “Scarface” is while holding a gun.

A few weeks ago, I sat watching the movie, thinking to myself, “Something is missing in this equation.” I looked over and saw my Nerf N-strike pistol, complete with adjustable laser sight.

Well, I quickly palmed my firearm, and began to twirl it for the remainder of the film. And I must say that, for those 2.5 hours, all was right with the world.

31st May2006

The Racial Incident

by Will

“An inch. It’s small and it’s fragile and it’s the only thing in the world that’s worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I know every inch of this cell. This cell knows every inch of me. Except one.”

This is my 500th post. Normally, when a blogging milestone comes along, I try to see what kind of adventure life will throw at me that deserves documentation. I look for crazy people on the streets, weird pop culture references, or just hidden stupid tales from my life that might give you a chuckle. Well, this is not that post. This may be the most serious post I’ve written. It’s something that I need to share, in print, because I really haven’t been able to vocalize it properly. So, please bear with me, and then we can get back to the regularly scheduled programming.

In the 70’s, Bill Cross created the “Cross Model of Minority Identity Development”. I’m not going to give a lecture, but he basically said that minorities lived in a cocoon until they experienced an encounter which changed their worldview. This encounter is different for each person, but they’re never able to look at the world the same once it happens. I’m sure that the people in the Africana department, who always joked that I was “so white”, would be glad to know that I’ve had my encounter.

Recently, I accompanied a friend as they visited with family. Now, I was apprehensive because I knew that one relative would be present, and this particular relative has never been even remotely welcoming to me. In the past, I would vocalize my apprehension beforehand, which would result in a possible argument, and more unnecessary tension. But this time, I decided to keep it inside and hope for the best. It was all in my head, right? This guy didn’t dislike ME. He just disliked everyone because he was an old curmudgeon. My friend even told me this. So, I figured I was the victim of a sense of age discrimination. Mr Smith was too old to learn new people, so I had missed the boat. That’s fine. But there were too many clues that he was going out of his way to dislike me. Especially when I’d see him meet other people, for the first time, and be friendlier than a whore on payday.

I met Mr. Smith over a year ago, and I can say that the “relationship” has degenerated from “nothing” to “malice”. When I first met him, I went to shake his hand, and he just kind of grunted at me. “He’s losing his hearing,” my friend reassured me. It was a lot of work for him to interact with people. Umm..OK. I grew up with old folks, so I could understand that. But then, for the first time, he used what would become his signature move: the disappearing act. Whenever festivities end, he has to go to the bathroom. And he pretty much stays until he thinks I’m gone. Oh, it’s all in my head, you say? Then, why is it when I leave, he’s peering out the window at me, sullen? He ain’t my daddy, so I know it’s not him longing for missing out on my childhood. I turn and wave, but he continues to glare. I’ve put up with this on a handful of occasions, but recently, he upped the ante.

Recently, as I was saying, I went with my friend to visit with Mr. Smith. We entered the house, and I immediately felt uneasy. Mrs. Smith was there, and she was quite friendly. I reached to take her hand, and she kissed my cheek. “This might not be so bad,” I thought, as my anxiety slightly waned. Then, Mr. Smith appeared in the doorway. I let him greet my friend first, since they were relatives, but I was determined to make this guy like me. I stepped forward, extended my hand, and asked, “How are you, Mr. Smith.” His mouth kind of twisted as he looked at my hand. Now follow this sequence. He hesitantly shook my hand, wiped his hand on his shirt, and proceeded to go wash his hands in the bathroom. He shook my hand and washed it off. HE. FUCKING. SHOOK. MY. HAND. AND. WASHED. IT. OFF.

I have NEVER…I’ve been all over the world, and dealt with a lot of things. I have a house in Alabama, I grew up in a white Republican church, and my fucking college essay was about my experience being black in the former Soviet Union, but I have NEVER encountered an asshole such as this man. And what gets me is that I can’t even begin to describe what he truly is. I feel almost as if there is no word to describe how this man has treated me. I didn’t want to “play the race card”. Maybe the earring scared him. Maybe my goatee threatened him. But I never wanted to zero in on it being about race.

The worst part, and the reason I have difficulty discussing it, is that it hurt me. It didn’t anger me. It hurt me to my core. I have never been shone as “dirty”. I have never had the most self-esteem, but in one gesture, I was made to feel like half a person. And it hurts. I can’t even be mad because there’s too much emotion for it to be simple “anger”. For years, I’d think of J and wonder, “Why is he SO mad? What could have him so angry?” But, not to put words in his mouth, but maybe he’s NOT angry. Maybe he’s hurt. Maybe he’s seen hands washed so many times that all he can feel is hurt. It’s worse than any break-up, worse than any mourning.

Mr. Smith doesn’t even know me. I am an Ivy League graduate, who’s never done drugs, never been in any sort of trouble, and I’m good to my friend, his relative. But instead, I’m just some dirty nigger. “Why’d you say ‘nigger’, Will? Why not ‘black person’?” Well, I ask you, is there a distinction to a racist? I could go off and defend my country, something that I know means a lot to him, and I’d still be that dirty nigger.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering, “What happened next?” Well, nothing. I mean, I wish I could’ve done something, but it’s one of those “hindsight is 20/20” moments. You’re so stunned by the sheer audacity, that you kinda have to catch your breath. Minutes later, we left. My friend apologized for Mr. Smith’s actions, but it wasn’t their place to apologize; they didn’t do anything. I’m sure they were embarassed and whatnot, but they were not to blame. Nor could I convey what I was feeling. Nor would an apology even suffice, from any party involved.

I’d heard these people were out there, but I wondered “why?” What makes a person so nasty? Sure, you may not care for people. Hell, I dislike everyone every now and then. Sadly, it’s human, but I make sure they never know it. Feelings pass, but this gesture was uncalled for. Would it have been so hard for him to grin and bear it? I’d have been gone in minutes. Is that the legacy he wants to leave behind? Most of his relatives seem shocked by these actions, so what is it about me, what do I remind him of, to make him act this way? Am I worth him ruining the positive image that he’s cultivated amongst his loved ones for so long? Mainly, where does something like this come from?

I don’t mean to be melodramatic. Most of you who know me know that I can be quite the drama queen. But in all honesty, my world hasn’t been the same since that day. It still hurts, but it also doesn’t. I kind of can’t feel. I try to put on a happy face, but it’s forced, and the people close to me keep asking, “What’s wrong?” The problem is that many of them would not be able to handle the truth. And I can’t really discuss the matter without wanting to cry. Sure, not very masculine, but you have no idea what that’s like. And if you do know, then, I’m sorry. I never knew. But I know now.

02nd Apr2006

At Least It Wasn’t A Whatchamacallit Bar…

by Will

“Shamokin DAMN!”

WTF is up with the Hershey’s Dark Chocolate commercial? I can’t believe that guy asks, “Is it a friendly dark chocolate?” No, it’s a militant dark chocolate that’s gonna mug you at the ATM.