Thursday, November 29, 2007
The most gangsta non-violent moment ever on TV.
Don't get caught slippin
Can't wait for 08
~waiting on the new package~
Monday, November 26, 2007
I was more than a bit hasty in my response to your message and I apologize I was mutli-tasking. Never a good thing. I found the questionnaire offensive but in no means am I accusing you of it. It just strikes me as so off and crude in regards to women. I, once again, must reiterate that no man has ever asked me those questions and if I were asked to fill out such a form as that I would be very frightened. It’s hard being a woman and when our stance on being strong and independent seems to be all likened to our sexual practices on a questionnaire, it leads one to think what strides have we made as women. Especially in the black culture. I guess that’s really what I wanted to point out, yes Spike Lee had some things to say but the way in which he went about it in some cases seems to be blatantly wrong. Even Rosie Perez has made comments regarding this. I think it would be interesting to ask the women who worked for him what they thought of him. No leading just asking.
Thank you for your sincerity and openness with your feelings on this matter. As I said I truly didn’t want to offend you. I respect your feelings on both the subject matter and Spike Lee. Whatever our difference of opinions, I love that you will always give me a fight for my money and call me on my stuff when you believe it necessary. I don’t believe us to just be casual acquaintances; though we don’t see each other nor talk as much as some I still have and always will think of you as my friend and for that I respect and value you and your opinion.
I have to be honest this back and forth between us deeply disturbed me and had me question my actions and then wondering how many people had your same feelings yet did not voice them. I have no desire to exist in a bubble of only my fellow likeminded. Decent is the only way to grow and change your thinking or fortify your beliefs by debating those differences and seeing how well they stand to scrutiny. I would hate to believe there are other women out there feeling I have crossed the line and have decided not to bring the fight to me as you did.
I hope you have you have an amazing Thanksgiving filled with food, love, libations, and all those you love. Peace and Blessing.
We are definitely not just casual acquaintances at all and I have to apologize for being so vocal. My mother raised me to be extremely loud. I guess it’s the mini-feminist I sometimes try to hide.
Happy Family Day (not Thanksgiving because that’s a ruse)
THE END ?
Gardy I respect you and your views on Spike Lee. But the one thing that upsets me is that I had hoped that I would never encounter such an offensive questionnaire on my page as this one. The questions posed are ones that boyfriends and doctors would never ask, let alone someone I know on a casual basis. The kinds of women who would answer questionnaires such as this are women who already have emotional issues. These questions are offensive, degrading and frankly scare the shit out of me. Do men sit in offices and write out the most degrading shit they can. And how many of these men would answer these questions? None I would bet. So if Spike Lee is your hero then enjoy. But if a man needs to think that a woman’s independence is based fully upon her sexual history, then I pity the women in his life.
I respect you as well, but the questionnaire was in no way meant to be disrespectful. The purpose of it was to get an idea of what the character would be in the real world and not a caricature that reads as if created by a whole bunch of frat boy writers. I’ve done the same type of social research for my book. My book is about an African American homosexual teacher who was molested as a child. Other than being black and teaching for a small time I don’t know the pains of my character well enough to truly grasp the topic and do my writing and those that lived it justice. I reached out to both people who were molested as children and homosexual males and the overwhelming majority were strangers. If it wasn’t for similar surveys I wouldn’t have anything to work off except for stereotypes, hearsay, and my own misconceptions. The survey I created was considerably more intense and probing, as it related to their sexual histories, their abuse, the interactions with their partners, their students, the parents of their students, and much much more. I asked these men who didn’t know me from Adam to revisit their abuse for my book and they gave me the honor of their pain to create my art. My writing and my personal life have both been greatly improved because of those interviews. I don’t personally know Spike, but I believe he had the same intentions with the survey; it was to determine how far woman would go with their sexuality back in 1985 and what that meant to the reality of their day to day lives and interactions with men. I didn’t say he was my hero, but I also don’t in any way believe him to be a bad person.
As for me sending it out that was out of my own curiosity as to what the answers would be 21 years later and if we, both men and women, have changed much in those 21 years since its original release as it relates to our views on sex and gender. I was raised in a home with all women and the majority of my friends were and still are woman. I probably have had as intimate and open a relationship a man can have with women he is not in a relationship with and been blessed to hold the confidence of these woman. This wasn’t in anyway something to get my rocks off, it was me sincerely wondering if woman have become more empowered or are still restrained by societies double standards of acceptance based on gender. If I offended you I apologize, but I would hope you would take my track record in the past as a factor in your thoughts of my intentions. This was not something I sent to every woman I know. I was very conscious in the decisions I made. I thought you to be a very intelligent and thoughtful woman. I know you wouldn’t just look at the surface of the subject matter and instead delve deeper into the purpose of the subject matter. The only reason I have my blog is as a forum for discussions. I wanted once the answers were posted to have a discussion on people’s views of the commenter’s. So far I have received about 35 responses from woman who just wanted me to know the answers and four women who posted on the actual blog as anonymous commenter’s. All the answers differ in their own way and are reflective of the women who gave them, as they should be. However, also very reflective of their parents and the experiences that raised them.
"If a man needs to think that a woman’s independence is based fully upon her sexual history, then I pity the women in his life."
I wanted to speak to this one point. The independence of the women isn’t based on her sexual history but her strength and independence is a factor in her sexual history. That truth applies to both men and woman. We are products of our interactions. The movie used her sexuality as a story base to push the topic of the men’s insecurities with her strength.
If you care to you can check out the answers given so far in the comment section of the actual blog, if you want nothing to do with this anymore I understand that as well and will respect your wishes.
This is the blog link.
PART 3 COMING TOMORROW
As the subject suggested someone took offense to the blog and accompanying survey I sent out last week entitled “SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT” in hopes of having some of my females readers (the two of you), my female friends (two more) fill out. I think it was the excitement of actually getting a glimpse into Spike Lee's alleged character development and research process for such a character that had me so excited to send it out and not conscious of how it might have been perceived. Don’t worry this reader made a clear point of telling me.
While we had our back and forth I got to thinking about how many other women might have been out there whom read the post and thought the same or worse. I wondered if I had possibly lost one of the two female readers of this blog I actually had and even one of those female friends as well. Below is the conversation that took place between myself and “HER”, if you have similar views or would like to rip into me on any topic feel free to go at it. I don’t care to live in a bubble full of my fellow choir members, always down to have my gospel tested and my beliefs question.
STAND UP AND BRING IT ON!!!
CONVERSATION/DEBATE/ARGUMENT/ALL OUT WAR BEGINS
I've honestly never thought that Spike Lee was a proponent for equal rights when it comes to women and in some ways I truly don't agree with his views of equal rights for African-Americans as well. I remember watching his movies as a teen and was shocked at what I saw. For a woman of mixed-race heritage living in a town called ________, Colorado I honestly didn't get it. I tried but I didn't. It's bizarre that I come from a town with absolutely no minorities as a child and experienced nothing but an idyllic childhood. I'm not certain that a man like Spike Lee could ever speak for me. I don't think I would ever want him to. School Daze, She's Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing...all misogynistic. Sorry I can't fill out something that makes me feel slimy and less than the woman I am. I remember seeing an interview with Rosie Perez and she was talking about the ice cube scene and how the cameraman made Spike Lee stop. He's an asshole, unhappy being the short ugly troll that he is.
I understand what you’re saying, but I respectfully have to disagree with you. Spike Lee spoke to me in a way that almost no other director has ever. The irony is the fact that the three movies you listed are the ones that most resonate with me. I am not mixed by race but by association. I am Haitian, but I came from a well off family and went to private school for the majority of my life with predominately all white kids and loved rock music as much as Hip Hop if not more at some moments back then. This did not make for the easiest of connections with neither my black or white classmates nor my neighbors. When around black kids I was the dark kid, which back then was a race onto itself, when around the white kids I was the black kid. No, I didn’t really deal with racism as a child amongst my white friends. Probably got more shit from the black kids, but that’s another story onto itself. We were children and played as such, our differences had more to do with personalities than race, but as I got older lines were drawn and unspoken understandings made. I have to admit I hate being the black guy and how comfortable my white friends are to separate me into a class all my own. To let some dumb “unconsciously” racist BS fly from their mouths under the gize of curiosity or humor. I AM BLACK.
Coming up in New York Spike was my New York director, no matter how much I loved Woody Allen, his New York, wasn’t my New York. I found identity, pride, and understanding from Spike. I’ve watched “School daze” numerous times over the years at different points in my life and each time it’s meant something different to me and made me aware of how he spoke to the topics and ills of a community underrepresented by Hollywood. Who else back then and since made a film about all black colleges and people of color actually going to them and succeeding while dealing with all the stuff that can make you want to pack your bags and go home. We as a people are always told all we do is drop out, go to jail, and have kids out of wedlock. Both he and Bill Cosby with “A different world” CRUSHED those stereotypes (for that moment in time) with representations of historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) on both the large and small screen. Up until that point I and a lot of other people, both black and white, didn’t even know such a thing as an HBCU existed.
All my black friends came from well off families with highly educated parents who were doctors, lawyers, politicians, but all I saw of black success on TV were musicians, athletes and/or drug dealers. Where was my reality? I went to NYU, so I can’t speak to the HBCU experience other than what I’ve witnessed second hand from my friends who attended them, but when I transferred to a predominately black private school and met the light/dark color divides for the first time it freaked me out and I saw it in his movies. It dealt with my desire to sometimes be the blackest guy in the room, probably subconsciously, in hopes of proving my blackness. It spoke to my own fucked up behavior with woman and control due to what I saw as a child with men and woman. It made me face my own prejudices related to our own race. How the media and society brainwashed me and most around me to believe in a distorted ideal of beauty and once discovering the misinformation, my own overdoing to destroy those false ideals by doing the polar opposite and in turn create other prejudices.
I understood the anger of the community in “Do the right thing”, because at different points in my life I’ve wondered out loud “Why aren’t there any black people on the wall?” and “Why did the cops just killed Radio Raheem?”. "She’s gotta have it" came out right as I was entering puberty and it blew my mind that a woman could be that free and confident with her own sexuality. I was raised in a patriarchal Haitian home where a woman’s’ sexual identity was constructed by the man that “chose her”. If he was a freak she was a freak because she did what he wanted. If she had sex six times a week if was because he turned over six times a week or four or one or none because he would be next door getting it from his mistress and you couldn’t do ANYTHING about it as HIS wife. This bothered me, until “she’s got to have it” crushed all those preconceived notions for me. It showed me that a woman could please herself whenever, however, and with whomever she so pleased and we were the ones who were lucky to be chosen to assist her in achieving her goal. Spike is not perfect, but he is mine and I proudly claim him. You’ve been in NYC for a while now and I think your experiences and interactions have had to have been effected a bit by living here. I would urge you to revisit those films and see where they stand in your current life as a woman, a person of mixed heritage, and a New Yorker. Please do me another favor if you haven’t seen it already I’d love it if you watched Afropunk.
P.S. That ice cube seen blew my mind and helped a lot of early sexual encounters go better.
PART 2 COMING TOMORROW
Thursday, November 22, 2007
While you sit down to your hearty meals and loving families don't forget what was lost for our celebration. I wish for you a great holiday season filled with family, love, libations, and a whole lot of great food. Pray for those who aren't as blessed this holiday season to have the love and support of another to get them through this harsh world. Peace and blessings to you and your families.
~thankful for those who stood up~
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I came across a great series of shots by my favorite fashion blogger The Sartorialist; that he did for the December issue of GQ of Luca Rubinacci. I live for details and this is all about the details. The reality is I wouldn’t have put this together for a client nor myself. However, I really really respect and love him doing it for himself. The colors, patterns, accessories, fabrics, and fit are all on point and worthy of multiple shots. I live for this.
Please click on each photo to enlarge and truly enjoy each and every detail this ensemble has to offer.
~we're the warriors they write epics about~
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I just came across a survey that Spike Lee had supposedly given to several women in order to help formulate the character that later became Nola Darling in “SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT” from Che Grand. I read through the survey and got very curious about what the answers to these questions would be 21 years after the original release of the film and the survey that created such a controversial character at the time. This is where you my loyal, beautiful, intelligent, open minded female readers and friends come in (Yes, I'm greasing you up, but I mean ever word), I would like you, if comfortable, to take the survey and if not comfortable having me know the answers came from you, you can post them as an anonymous commenter on my blog.
IF YOU ONLY WANT ME TO SEE YOUR ANSWERS YOU CAN E-MAIL ME AT GVG@IAMGVG.COM. YOUR ANSWERS WILL BE HELD IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE TO NEVER BE READ BY ANOTHER SOUL, UNLESS EXPRESSLY REQUESTED BY YOU.
This survey is called: A.S.S. (Advanced Sexual Syndrome)
1. Are there any sexual acts you perform with one man and not another? Why?
2. Do you have an aversion to swallowing when a man ejaculates?
3. Do you think in time one man will satisfy you?
4. What do you look for in sex?
5. Is making love different than sex? Why if so?
6. Name some inhibitions you had to overcome.
7. Do you think you are sexually adept?
8. What would you consider a freak? Why?
9. Are you one?
10. What do you feel when you have to have it? Tense? Evil? Explain.
11. When ya gotta have it, how do you get it?
12. What do you think about a woman that masturbates?
13. Do your morals or scruples sometimes conflict with desire/need?
14. How often do you have sex?
15. Have you ever had an orgasm> How old were you? Describe it.
16. Can you enjoy sex without an orgasm?
17. Do you need outside stimuli to get yourself ready, i.e., drugs, alcohol, magazines, porno films?
18. Talk about one unfulfilled fantasy.
19. Do you feel all men are basically dogs??
20. Do you like to be dominated, or yourself take control?
21. Is there a limit to what you'll do? How far will you go?
22. Have you ever made a request to a man that he declined? What was it?
23. Have you ever had a ménage a trios?
24. Where you ever tempted to go to bed with a woman?
25. Does penis size matter?
26. Does the threat of pregnancy or disease deter you?
27. Approx. how many men have you had? Any regrets?
28. Have you ever looked for love through sex? Why? Did you find it?
29. Describe your most memorable encounter.
30. Do you like foreplay? Do enough men do it?
31. What turns you off the most?
32. Have you ever had low self esteem after sex? Why?
33. What's your favorite position? What do you find men like most?
34. Have you ever lied or faked an orgasm (moans, groans) to please your partner? Why did you do it?
35. Were you raised in a strict home?
36. Do you care if people put labels on you - loose, etc?
37. Do you find a lot of men sexually inhibited?
38. What do you find attractive in men?
39. Have you ever OD'd on sex?
40. What part of your body is on the money?
~we’re the warriors they write epics about~
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I realize I have a very reactionary personality always on the defensive. Which some would argue is a losing side to be on and one that will ensure my own demise(I don't lose). My best writing usually tends to be done in response to something. The passion with which I write in those moments seems to escape me in moments of calm and mental clarity. Not to say my brain is in anyway distorted when ripping into a cause, just that in those moments I seem to have a singular goal of getting at whatever stirred me up. Unchallenged by my need to get it perfect, just my need to get it out and get it done. In those cases when I just need to get it out, people seem to really connect to what I write and I seem to not be as burdened with the imperfections of what I wrote.
I have about six or seven topic pieces sitting in different stages of undone with varying levels of disrepair that are very close to me and are in a way pieces of what allow me to function in some capacity every day by getting them out in my own anti-social way. The high likelihood is that no one will ever read those pieces as they have been sitting on my hard drive for months with too much self applied pressure to make them "perfect" that they will never be close to the standards I have set and in turn in my own head never worthy of being seen by another living literate soul. I write all this to say that I might not be putting it out in the way some might feel I should but I’m still putting it out in the way that I can. With each tap of my keys I come closer to salvation and mental stability. So whether done publicly or privately it’s done.
That long rambling string of sentences above was to preface what stands below. I came across a new blog today while being the nosey voyeuristic blog snoop I am that got me thinking and then in turn writing and writing and writing. One of the post was about the author's abusive father and it got me to think about my own father. Which as of late I seem to be doing more and more of. I called a friend to discuss the topic a couple of nights ago, but she was in the midst of “being busy” and wasn’t able to give me the help I needed with the matter. Below is a link to this woman’s original post and below that what I wrote to her in response to her post. I realized half way through the blackout I was having that turned what was supposed to be a two line comment of sympathy into a four paragraph vent that had way more to do with me and my own sh&t than it in any way remotely had to do with her. SO i figured why not share it with the four of you who actually read this and care to know anything about me.
HER BLOG POST
I don't want to come across as negative, but that seems to be the way the cookie is going to have to crumble on this one. Plain and simply - F$$K FORGIVENESS. I don’t' believe in it. They did it and it's their weight to carry. I believe in acknowledging and moving on with or without the person depending on the gravity of what they did to you by your standards of pain not anyone else’s. I remember as a child who also went to a psychologist hating how he and others since would try to minimize my issues with people based on their standards of pain. We don't know each other so I have no idea what he did to you, but with my heart I don't believe you'd refer to your father as "The Devil" if he hadn't put in overtime earning the moniker. Great; he's getting help with his addiction, but you shouldn't have to be part of his salvation just to satisfy his needs of self forgiveness. “For every action there is a reaction of equal or greater value” A scientific theory I’ve lived my life to and done very well by. So for your actions of hurting me my reaction is never forgiving you.
I can't say I had a horrible father probably by most people’s standards he was a good father, but by mine he didn't do what he needed to be my father or a husband to my mother and for that I made up my mind to never speak to him again and when I was in eighth grade he died and I decided not to attend the funeral. I thought it hypocritical to attend the funeral of a man I had cast off to then stand in the presence of those who were sincerely mourning their loss of him. Everyone thought it was the worst thing I could have ever done and I would have a life of regret about it. He did what he did and I made a decision and stuck to it. To be honest after all these many years since, I’m curious about the funeral, but I have no regret about not attending. It’s more the voyeur in me curious to have seen how people would have reacted at his funeral. Who loved him? Who would show up or not show up? How my siblings would act in the presence of the man who abandoned them while in the presence of the family who expected them to see him as the king he was to them. How many people would be crying, screaming, or attempting to jump into the hole dug for the casket? (if you couldn’t tell I have a very melodramatic family when it comes to death, first time I went to a white persons funeral it freaked me out how quit and subdued everyone was).
As I’ve gotten older I’ve developed a lot of my father’s mannerism and eccentricities beginning a couple of years after he passed that I wasn’t even aware of until brought to my attention by other members of my family – His laugh, an uncontrollable desire to cross my legs knee over knee even though not possibly because of the thickness (Code for fat) of my thighs, the way I hold a glass, and a few of the bad things as well, which have lead to my own paranoia of what type of man I’ll be/am (nature or nurture seems to be a topic always at the front of my own consciousness). Who knows what our relationship would have been like if he had lived longer. Would my curious nature have forced me to forge a closer relationship to study our commonalities? Would my disgust for his behavior change to pride of it as I became more like him in a society that tells you that men are suppose to be all those things I saw as bad while under the loving care of my mother the one most effected by his behavior. Would his openness with his bank account to me make him more of an appealing father as benefactor to my lofty ambitions and expensive taste? All I have to go on is what it was when he was alive and from that I can comfortably say is that I made a decision and choose to live with it each and every day.
P.S. Both my brother and sister secretly still hate me for not attending even though they had far worse experiences with the man than I ever ever did. Still don’t really get that, but we don’t talk about it so it just sits there taking up space in the room we’re never in together.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I was always amazed at how all of Ronald Reagan’s “political indiscretions”, as some might call them, that affected so many of the minority and underprivileged classes directly and indirectly through numerous destructive and biased policies during his administration were mysteriously forgotten about and omitted from the records once he died. The list could go on for more space than I have on this blog, but just to hit some highlights - Iran contra, Reaganomics, the cuts of funds to programs that helped the underprivileged and the arts, and all his other ills. So he passed and he was a hero and everyone was there to salute him on his way out when he died on both sides of the political divide. What that says for both parties I’ll leave up to you decide. I just came across this back and forth that was taking place between two NY Times columnist Paul Krugman and David Brooks about who Reagan should be remembered as and I thought you’d all enjoy the read as well. Please make sure to read the final response by Paul Krugman if you read nothing else besides the excerpts. It’s all worth your time, but I especially love a well delivered check mate. Read here
~man of the times~
Friday, November 9, 2007
I realized I haven't posted anything in a rather long while and I’m not sure when the next time will be that I do post, but I just came across these two video clips that seemed to shine a light through a dark cloud and I thought that’s a smile I’d like to share. The first is the trailer for The Great Debaters an upcoming film produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions. It is directed by Denzel Washington who also stars in the film along with Forrest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise, Nate Parker, and Jurnee Smollett. The film is based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, who, while at Wiley College formed a debate team that beat Harvard in 1935 during the national championships.
The second is a visual adaption for a school project of Lupe Fiasco’s "He Get's The Girl" done by Mathew Metoyer(Still not feeling Lupe’s ass for all that shit he was talking about Tribe. Think he might have been listening to all the people he sampled telling him to “Dumb it down” a bit too much) However, this is one of my favorite songs off the album and this unofficial/but sssoooo official video does it justice and makes you FEEL the sincerity of the words.