Monday, June 21, 2010

Transactional Sex: groupie love & book deals

Seems Karrine Steffans of Confessions of a Video Vixen fame has a young protege of her own. A young woman called Kat Stacks who has, as did Steffans hersself, entwined herself in numerous broiling sexual encounters with some famous rappers - Nelly, Bow Wow, the Young Money clique including their most successful member, Lil' Wayne and others she refuses to name in the video below in lieu of the imminent release of her very own tell-all book on the ways in intricacies of the life of a hip hop groupie. Whether she is doing it for her own financial gain or for her own personal empowerment is not something I can make proper judgements of. She is entitled to revel in a very basic human right called "freedom of speech" in whatever vernacular and with as many cuss-words as she so wishes.

This violent repurcussion from two of Bow Wow's crew members should come as no surprise. We should expect this sort of ire to emanate from a disgraced young rapper who feels, living in a society steeped in patriarchy, that as a famous and somewhat monied recording artist he has earned the right to as much "hot pussy" as he wishes to get without having to suffer the public humiliation brought forth by the blatant telling of his bedroom antics. All this including an admission of his palpably insufficient girth from any groupie with whom he may have copulated with i.e. Madame Stacks. Rappers of this variety aspire to reach a position in which their status will afford them easy access to submissive and willing women. They know that without the power that fame affords them, they are next to nothing and are relegated to the status of ordinary men who believe they must endure great pains and lengths just to get laid. Yet I feel that it is so much more than this. That this is a power-game and the sex is purely transactional. Groupies are paid for the power that these men are afforded in commanding control over these women sexually. It clearly does not end at that. Some groupies wish to earn a further and more lofty pay-off for their stories through book deals or cash settlements as a way of ensuring silence.

Surely, the boys who approached Kat Stacks in the club should know this by now. There is no keeping a groupie silent in this day and age without ignominy or a collosal decrease in one's bank balance.

"Pimps Up, Hoes Down" by T Denean Sharpley-Whiting

This book gave an excellent account on the multiple ways in which commercialized hip-hop culture, ever-influenced, by patriarchal ideals has worked against the positive growth and development of young black women in a post hip-hop era. For anyone curious to learn more of the way in which feminism and hip hop intersect.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Seattle's Pigs

News has spread wide and fast about the problem with police brutality. Of course, this is something that's been known for years. Cops are not to be trusted. It leaves people with a sense of ambivalence however, since these are the people that have been assigned to wipe the streets clean of society's wrongdoers and lawbreakers yet much of the brutality the commit only adds to ever-present violence that pervades communities already.

This is all just very sad to me.

The "Indestructible" Black Woman Myth...Again

My heart pounded as a watched this video. It reminded me of the physical fights I have gotten into with two male family members who saw no problem in partaking in a physical confrontation with me. Neither one apologised for their behaviour and the female members in my family proceeded to defend and justify these men's actions. One of the males even went on to say that he "understands" why such a physical reaction would have emanated. All this without a word of concern about any sort of emotional distress the fight could have caused or again, even a simple apology. I firmly believe that my being black gives them reason to falsely believe that I am incapable of feeling and therefore make the perfect punching bag.

Yes, there is a double standard. People feel more guilt causing harm to white women than they do to women of colour especially if one is black. Since we are that special group of "chicks who just happen not to have dicks", men find it easy to punch, push, strike and hit us without any inherent guilt or remorse. It is sad. Truly sad. That people are still very much incapable of understanding that black women are not as tough as society aims to point us out to be. That we are neither punching bags nor scapegoats for the satiation of the insecure others fragile id. We were not to be used by others in a way that will grant them a portal to attain a sense of power. It should be known that our bodies are sacred temples around which proper boundaries are put in place to prevent physical harm that those who fail to recognise our humanity wish to cause.

But here is where I am slightly ambivalent about this whole dichotomy. White women are apparently considered more womanly than the rest of us and deserving of courteous behaviour. As plenty of people have noted in their analysis', a man should not strike a woman under any circumstance so the ease with which the cop in question hit this young woman is reflective of a racist belief in a black woman's apparent "masculinity". Yet do I necessarily want to be viewed as weak and in need of protection? Not at all. Neither do I want to have someone engage in unwarranted physical confrontation with me. There must be a middle ground. Digressing to each extreme is neither good nor healthy in attempting to assert a real sense of equality.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Plastic Horns and Defeaning Sounds

It's World Cup African Style Y'all!

Kudos to Gawker for this one. Now we know who's raking up the profits for that darned plastic horn. As a commenter noted, this is NO long-standing tradition. The first I heard about these "charming" little instruments, during PSL Saturday soccer matches about 14 years ago. The sound was annoying to say the least but we South Africans have become so acquainted with it and its association with local club soccer. It's the rest of you that were taken by surprise and we knew people would complain instantly. I guess it takes a bit of an acquired taste. Plenty of getting used to. But after Wednesday's humbling defeat, streets of Cape Town have been awarded with a little more peace with the burgeoning realisation that South Africa will not make it to the second round as we all merrily predicted. Those of us with objective viewpoints that is.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Carelessness and Folly

Probably the worst oil-spill we have seen in years could have been avoided with a little less greed. How about that? If they had anticipated the $20B they would have had to fork out as a result of not heeding to adequate safety measures. But know?

BP also apparently rejected advice of a subcontractor, Halliburton Inc., in preparing for a cementing job to close up the well. BP rejected Halliburton's recommendation to use 21 "centralizers" to make sure the casing ran down the center of the well bore. Instead, BP used six centralizers.
In an e-mail on April 16, a BP official involved in the decision explained: "It will take 10 hours to install them. I do not like this." Later that day, another official recognized the risks of proceeding with insufficient centralizers but commented: "Who cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fine."
The lawmakers also said BP also decided against a nine- to 12-hour procedure known as a "cement bond log" that would have tested the integrity of the cement. A team from Schlumberger, an oil services firm, was on board the rig, but BP sent the team home on a regularly scheduled helicopter flight the morning of April 20.
Less than 12 hours later, the rig exploded.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

In the mood for Old School Neptunes

Back in the day, remember when Kelis had kaleidoscopic curly hair and Pharrell wore those trucker caps constantly and made an appearance in every video for evry song he produced. Humble Chad was never visible. God bless him. He's responsible for half of all of this unyet he never bothered with the limelight like his playboy, Peter-Pan-never-wanting-to-really-grow-up-settle-down-and-have-kids (I mean even original Peter Pan himself MJ had kids, Pharrell). But it was good times you know. Any time you heard that "neptune sound" that Jigga refers to in 'I Just Wanna Love You' and you knew just exactly who made that beat. Ah early 2000's - that was an era in itself.

South Africa and Homophobia

With a country this homophobic and this misogynistic, this kind of hatred is by no means a surprise. But I am proud of these ladies for not feeling ashamed to express their sexual orientation knowing full well that it may put them in danger of serious assault from misogynists within the community. They're courage is outstanding. Kudos to them for being openly lesbian.

Ah, Steve and Bill - You Blurry Bastards

How I love to hate them and wish to be them. Steve Jobbs and Bill Gates.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Don't Even Know What to Call this Entry

 Just watch this and enjoy it. Kudos to Luvvie for leading me to this

Youtube Strike Back for Maya

Controversy Around Born-Free: My Take on It

Just finished watching the video for "Born Free", I see no reason why it should have been pulled off of Youtube a month ago. Yes there were graphic depictions of violence but here's an interesting comment I agree with which I found under the comments of this video:

so it's alright for music videos of girls dancing naked and exploiting themselves to be up on youtube rather than a video with actual substance and a message that's worth watching? idiots.

That's an excellent point to raise in the midst of all this. Vulgar depictions of misogyny - which is also hateful toward a certain demographic i.e. the female population is tolerable whilst violent imagery serving to make a statement about the insanity of war and ethnic genocide in this world should be banned.

It reminds me of several years ago when FCC fined Sarah Jones on indecency charges for the lyrics to her spoken word poem, "Your Revolution" which was an anti-sexism, anti-misogynistic war-cry. Funny the FCC chose to avoid all those rappers out there spitting vulgar lyrics about their sexual conquests with women when a woman who is simply speaking up against what she sees as derogatory should be charged. Interesting. The lawsuit was dropped eventually. Should have never been taken up in the first place. But it goes to show how selective censorship boards are. They don't really aim to censor what is considered immoral or indecent. They aim to censor instead what messages they do not want the public hearing because they're afraid of an enlightened masses, a know-better-than-that masses that begins to wake up from their government and media-induced coma. I am reminded of those stunning lyrics from Lupe's classic "Dumb it Down":

You've been shedding too much light Lu (Dumb it down)
You make'em wanna do right Lu (Dumb it down)
They're getting self-esteem Lu (Dumb it down)
These girls are trying to be queens Lu (Dumb it down)
They're trying to graduate from school Lu (Dumb it down)
They're starting to think that smart is cool Lu (Dumb it down)
They're trying to get up out the hood Lu (Dumb it down)
I'll tell you what you should do (Dumb it down)

What Could they Be Concocting?

Do I look forward to the finished product or should I find myself afraid, very afraid like after hearing that Lil' "weezy-baby" Wayne was going to record with Erykah Badu. Oh no! Yeah, exactly. And why, considering that this was George Jefferson's favourite thing to call his woman has Wayne adopted this as his catch-phrase?

Anybody else notice the connection?