26 May 2009

Punch Drunk Love

Dear Gayle,

I started watching internet videos again. I know. Absolutely not the way to get any writing done, but what can I say other than it's addictive? There's some good, mind-numbing stuff on the web. Anyway, last Friday morning, I logged on to Twitter, and some of the folks I follow were talking a Charles Hamilton video that had been making rounds on the internet. Admittedly, I haven't paid much attention to Charles Hamilton, but not because, like Carl Thomas, his name makes him sound less like a rapper I should know and more like somebody's uncle. Rather, I yawn at this dude because: 1. with few exceptions, most days I care more about than I do about new emcees; and 2. Charles is a known beat jacker, and for that, he gets bozack from me. But there's something about a tweet link that compels me to click away. So, yeah, I watched it.

If you haven't seen it, here's a synopsis: It's a clip of Charles Hamilton and a young woman, who is, I guess, his girlfriend. Apparently, young Charles had been a mark ass buster previously, and the gf was miffed. In response, she wrote a poem/rap. During the video the unofficial hypeman, whose name just HAS to be Tyrone, instigates a rap battle. So she spits. From her Blackberry. Then Charles spits and commences to talk about how he had sex with her, etc. In other words, Charles Hamilton, like a lot of his hip hop brethren, was acting like an obnoxious asshole. But before Hamilton can finish rapping about their sexuation, the gf straight punches him in the face. How nice. (Maybe she was just upset by the fact that it's officially on blast that she slept with a dude who looks like Cam'ron's nephew with that stuffed Pink Panther on his wrist {all in the name of being a blipster, I'm sure.}.) Anyway, a few days later, the couple decides to apologize to each other. On camera. To add, the hypeman/mediator gets on his soapbox, telling folks who dissed Chuck in the interim that they suck, because Charles was a real man by not retaliating. Again, how nice.

If anything, the twitsponse reflects my love/hate relationship with Twitter: I love the links some people supply; I hate the commentary (and the fact that some folks think having egg whites for breakfast is somehow tweet-worthy. But that's another story.) Some of the stuff I read either found the Charles getting cracked in the jaw funny, wanted to discuss where/when how violence between the sexes is justified, or implicitly praised young Charles' for his self-restraint. As for the latter, I guess, folks are still smarting from the Breezy v. Reezy public relations fiasco, which I wrote about previously.

Gayle, I suppose people are glad that a young black man used his words. (The gf tells me that's ["use your words"] what you say to toddlers who prefer to point and make noise until you give them what they want. I find its use here more than appropriate.) Whatever. What got lost in the whole "Thank God Charles Hamilton ain't Chris Brown" response was how he responded to her, what he said to her. Homegirl was obviously hurt. And though I think she would have benefited from a ghostwriter to help her express that shit more cleverly, and though it probably would've helped not to put shit out on internet front street, his blatantly disrespectful response confirms that black love is deader than chicken fried hard. And, of course, she shouldn't have hit him.

His retort, in all of its nonchalance, was all about the fact that he'd fucked her. No matter how wack her poem/rap was and no matter where she shared it, she didn't deserve that shit. Essentially, she said, "You hurt my feelings and I'm mad about it," and his response was, "But I hit it, though." Both video clips are chocked full of disrespect, and the only thing more unfortunate than her response and the apologies and forgiveness in the aftermath, is the fact that I know this kind of thing is normal to women who neither date up-and-coming rappers, nor work out their relationship issues in front of a video camera.

It seems that the standard for romantic relationships has sunk so low that a man is considered "real" when he doesn't hit a woman (back). As if not engaging in domestic violence is now some admirable quality that Angie Stone and/or Jill Scott should add as a lyric to their next ode to black men. Since when is whittling down your partner to a sex object and your relationship with her to a mere sexual encounter or two not abusive, especially when she seems to believe that what you all had was more significant than that? Dear Hypeman, Your boy might wear pink, but he ain't all that progressive, nigga. Not from this view.

But more to my point, when did this kind of interaction become par for the course in the game of (heterosexual black) love? Is the self-esteem so low, have we digested the whole scarcity of good black men schtick for so long that any ol' mediocre, silly-acting, not phsically violent one will do?

Of course, Gayle, I don't want to seem like I'm being too hard on young Charles. He did, after all, apologize. Perhaps this was an isolated incident, and unfortunately, a video camera was just there to catch the poor behavior. The situation could be unique, and not indicative of their entire courtship. Maybe, despite this, he's a good guy. Maybe it's all a publicity stunt. Charles' camp has been known to stage internet dust ups, so I hear.

Maybe I was hoping all that pink would seep into his skin, and help him get in touch with, I dunno, some sort of womanly(?) perspective. Yeah. I was totally wrong about that. Skinny jeans don't have that kind of special power, either. But I dunno, Gayle. I can't shake the feeling that something fucked up happened when Meth met Mary. (Which reminds me. Saf and I need to get to work.)

Oh well. At least he's dating a black girl. *Shrug*


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