29 August 2011

What's Your Fantasy?

I keep trying to come up with reasons to justify my addiction to (fantasy) football. I praise the parity of the NFL and argue that the helmets help create anonymity that makes football the ultimate team sport. I discuss the elegance of a tightly thrown spiral arching through the air, landing in the hands of wide receiver walking the tight rope of a sideline. Those things may all be true. But what is also true is that football is America's gladiator sport. It is violent and boorishly brutal. And homoerotic as hell. I love it.

Last Friday marked the inaugural draft party of the Dirty Dianas Fantasy Football League. A small group of women gathered at my homie, Maeg's house to 
get drunk
 get in on the nerdiest way to watch sports. As the commissioner of this new league, I wanted a few things to happen: our league would be all women, we would throw a party (and there would be cake!), and despite my ophidiophobia, we'd hold a snake [!!!!] draft.

22 August 2011

Commercial Break: Athlete Slash Musician

It seems I've been more polemical than usual these last few weeks. So how about something completely worthless and asinine--ok, more worthless and asinine than what I usually post here--this Monday? Because, frankly, all I have to say about The Help's (and The Smurfs') continued box office success this weekend is: Effing really (God bless the interrobang.)

Anyway, in case you missed it, the NFL lockout ended, and I'm using the breaks from dissertating to prepare for the upcoming fantasy football season. I'm ready to defend last year's title (and take that money); I've also started a women's fantasy football league (because that's why feminists burned their bras in the 70s). In an effort to find enough women to participate, the homie, Liz and I Twitter-stalked ESPN's Jemele Hill trying to get her to take one of our slots. Despite the hilarity of our tweets to her, she eventually declined due to schedule (or so she says #notbitter). One of tweets I sent her was a mash-up of the New York Jets, Bart Scott's now hilariously infamous post-game interview and Nu Shooz 80s hit, "I Can't Wait." My foray into technological prowess combined with Deion "Must be the Money Sanders' induction into the NFL Hall of Fame a few weeks ago got me thinking about athletes and their musical careers. And so, instead of the scathing pop culture criticism you've grown used to, I present:

15 August 2011

On Not Seeing 'The Help'

I did not see The Help this weekend; I also did not read the book. Since I both read and saw The Secret Life of Bees a couple of years ago and am conversationally familiar with The Blind Side, I figured I had earned enough credit to sit this one out. Call it a mental health decision.

The title alone was enough for me to know to stay away. The synopsis confirmed that I had made the right decision: A young southern white woman with dreams of becoming a writer comes home from college and upon hearing the news that her mammy has abruptly left Mississippi for Chicago, realizes that black maids are treated differently from white people and thusly decides to write about them from their perspective. This, folks, is a classic case of cinematic enwhitlement...and exactly how Hollywood--and the rest of America--addresses race: A well-meaning (often southern) and heretofore racially oblivious (shall we say color-blind?) white person randomly discovers that the Negro they love most (and by extension other black people) is treated "differently," becomes tragically affected by the epiphany, heroically takes up the cause (on a micro or macro level), and gets some Colored Only signs removed. Oh and a whole bunch of funny shit happens in the middle. Like Klansmen becoming comic relief. Yep. That's exactly how Jim Crow was.

08 August 2011

Some Unsolicited Love Advice for Queen Latifah

(Since my last two blogs have been relatively serious, how about something light this Monday morning?)

Dear Queen Latifah,

Well, look at you! Just the other week I was considering the conditions under which you might come out, and now word on the street is you're all up in the magazines talking about what kind of women you like:
Queen Latifah: …I just like ladies who have class. Period. And if it’s “T and A” you’re sellin’, that’s fine, as long as that’s what you’re selling. But you don’t have to show everything, you know? You can hold some back and just be yourself and let your personality shine and let your individuality show. To me, that’s sexier. A confident woman is a sexy woman, in my opinion. And I think guys find that to be the same way.

Jamie: Right.
Queen Latifah: You don’t have to show everything; you don’t have to put it all out there to attract a guy. Because what kind of guy are you gonna attract? What is he really looking for? If you wanna be a booty call, I guess you can throw it all out there. (laughs) But if you’re looking for a relationship with someone who respects you and respects things other than your body—your mind, your spirit, your personality, your smile—then you have to kind of exude that more so than just yo’ booty and yo’ titties.

01 August 2011

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill's Fans

Last week, Lauryn Hill announced the birth of her sixth child, a son, and then somehow found the strength to perform in LA just days after giving birth. Of course, this newest edition to Hill's family surprised very few, since photographs of her on stage during her Moving Target tour last spring led to speculations that she was pregnant--a rumor she later confirmed. As is the tendency when news of Hill's personal life emerges, the commoners side-eyed, sighed, smh'd and almost angrily mumbled about Lauryn running game like the Knicks/build [us] up only to lose the championship. Would she still appear at Rock the Bells and perform 1998's axis-altering solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as had been planned? Would we ever hear that follow-up studio album? This latest pregnancy put everything (the fans wanted) in jeopardy.

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