Life and Laughs

I recently watched The Incredible Jessica James.

It’s one of my favorite movies now.

The story, the plot, the characters (oh the characters) – this movie just stood out to me in so many different ways. Like I was almost surprised at how much I loved it.

The first time I saw Jessica Williams on The Daily Show w John Stewart, I thought she was witty, awkward, smart, funny – just my kind of bitch. I thought, “I can’t wait til she gets poppin.” Then she left the show and I thought

“Oh shit, she’s making moves. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

I follow her on Instagram and I remember when the movie was on the festival circuit making waves.

It got into Sundance, which – kudos.

Then it premiered on Netflix. I must admit, it took me a while to sit down and watch it. It was always on my mental watchlist but I was in the middle of Narcos so… it had to wait a minute.

But I finished Narcos (dope af) and I finally sat down to watch it and I honestly feel like it’s one of the most charming&funny&quirky&lovable movies I’ve seen in a while. Definitely cult classic material. New generation black art house gold. I loved it.

Even though the world seems to be heading for imminent destruction, I can die in peace having witnessed the last hoorah, the raison d’etre, the final bang in this iteration of a true black arts movement – in cinema, and art in general.

It happened in the 20s, 50s 80s and now. When the going gets tough, the tough create.

I mean like

DWP. selma. Insecure. Awkward black Girl. Issa Rae. Justin Simeon. Lena waithe. 20s. Queen Sugar. Oprah. AVA mf’n DUVERNAY. Fences. Hidden Figures. Fruitvale Station. Black Panther.

Not to mention all the talent on the internet. Niggas are getting paid cash money to parody the bullshit we witness ERDAY.

Obviously, trolls gone troll.

Toni, Rachel, Katlyn, Kylie: I’m looking at you…

But have I been getting my life and my laughs despite them?

Hell yes.

Life is Funny Enough Without Your Bullshit

Listening to this recent mailbag episode of The Read has me thinking…

In particular, the question called “Trump stole my swag” or something like that. It was a man writing who had just recently been married. Evidently they had hats made with a hashtag and the hats were red and the print was white. Just like Trump’s campaign hat. 

Fury and Crissle told him to retire that shit though he seemed reluctant to do so in his letter. Just because Trump took his swag, so he says.

One of my many random ass obsessions is symbolism. I mean if we think about it, that’s all that differentiates us from any other animal – the capacity to impose meanings on symbols or objects to organize our thoughts, communities, and cultures. The alphabet, our number systems, our vocabularies, our cultures are nothing but commonly accepted meanings that have been imposed onto arbitrary shapes that early people drew into the sand. 

Now look at us now. 

I said all that to say that symbols are powerful, and that red and white hat is one that tightens my sphincter anytime I see it. 

It was the horocrux that Trump imbued with a piece of his old and rotting soul, and thus I’ve come to see the hat as a symbol of ignorance, xenophobia, egoism, and out right fuckery.

Sometimes it’s not even a Make America Great Again hat. Even the color and style of it is enough to make me roll my eyes.

Now, I have a motley bunch of associates of all races. And some of them (who I really don’t know that well) think it’s cool to wear that shit “ironically.”

“You know I don’t really think that way in real life.”

*rolls eyes*

My thing is…  there’s plenty of things in life that are actually funny.

I think it’s funny how I’m in 20K worth of debt for a goddam degree that everybody told me I needed. 

I think it’s funny how bitches think they can try me in Walmart and cut me in the checkout line. 

I think it’s funny that some of these people out here really thought Donald Trump would be a good president.

The material is endless without you going for the lowest hanging fruit for a laugh. 

Bitch, THIS ain’t funny. This lunatic is going to kill us all. 

And the thing about symbols is that one they are assigned a meaning, it usually sticks and it’s hard to change it. 

So even people who wear the hat just for shits and giggles, or have a similar looking accessory at home, just retire that shit and have a seat. It’s okay. 

Besides, it’s probably best to let it be. The red and white trucker hat has been tainted for all eternity. It ain’t cute any more. 

Backshot Heard Round the World

Bitch.

Insecure season 2 kicked off on Sunday and…

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Issa Rae is truly a treasure.

So season one: We get to know Issa’s world. Her friends, her relationship, and the dynamics of both. Even though Insecure was becoming its own thing, I couldn’t help but compare it to Awkward Black Girl, an ABG 2.0, if you will.

But now, in season 2, Insecure definitely feels like its own entity. Where each of the characters has a niche in the world that they occupy and cope with.

Shout out to Dustin from The Friend Zone podcast! When I saw his face in the trailer, I screamed like a boy band stan and I’m not ashamed of it.

Issa’s out here dating, trying to get back into the swing of things after her break up with Lawrence. But dating, quite honestly, is much. She’s doing that “where are you from/what do you do” bullshit and I was cringing for her.

Meanwhile life don’t stop and Molly, Issa’s bestie, finds out this white nigga makes more than her at the law firm that they’ve both been at for the same amount of time. I get my life when she checked that bitch at the dinner party and reminded Trevor (or whatever the fuck) of his white and male privilege.

She’s still not fully feeling this therapy shit yet though.

And last but not least, Lawrence.

I really don’t know how to feel about him yet. I really don’t.

He trash as fuck for leaving that raggedy ass shirt in the closet and taking the pillow. And him and that girl Tasha… I just…

She needs to sit the fuck down somewhere.

Of course, the fun didn’t end with the season premiere. The internet and its commentary made for lots of fun.

Say what you want about Charlemagne, but the nigga is good for a laugh.

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I see where his allegiance lies. Typical.

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All in all – that was a damn good premiere. In the coming weeks, I look forward to Issa’s hoe-ventures and hang-ups. This is gonna be a wild one.

Buckle up.

How Do I Measure the Time?

In episodes of The Read, quite honestly.

I really feel like they’ve perfected this podcast shit. Like they’re funny, witty, intelligent and just plain relatable. And don’t let both of them come in the studio fucked up – GOLD. I think I discovered the show around this time last year and ever since, I have to get my fix every week.

Fury said he was in Jamaica this week and that the episode wouldn’t come out til Friday, instead of their established Thursday release date. I had a four hour drive back to Oxford on Thursday. Now what was I going to do to kill the time?

Listen to old episodes, of course.

In the past year, I’ve branched out into that whole LSN conglomerate. The Friend Zone, Combat Jack, Gettin’ Grown – I really enjoy all the content.

It’s really something I’m really excited to see grow and flourish.

It’s to the point where I’m either listening to music or listening to podcasts, truly and honestly.

How do you speak to me when I have headphones in? Don’t.

Cynthia is my Soul Mate

If you haven’t been watching Chewing Gum, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.

It’s so fucking funny.

I take so much delight in knowing that I was on this shit before it got popping. I was watching season one on YouTube when it was still only on BBC programming. I feel like if someone made Do The Right Thing into a comedy series set in modern London, it would be Chewing Gum. Aesthetically, the show works. So many colors. So many interesting locations. Interesting character. It makes even Tracy’s estate (I assume what we’d call project housing, here) look appealing and vibrant. It makes you want to be in her world, if only for 22 minutes.

Plus, I’ve developed a new appreciation for British slang and comedy. It’s so unique, yet vaguely familiar.

It’s just something about that melanin. Lately I’ve really been exploring the whole idea of this “African diaspora,” the dispersion of melanated people across the globe as a result of centuries of colonization. And it is continuously becoming evident that no matter how far spread across the globe black folks are, it’s just something about that melanin that’s interesting, exciting, and worth exploring.

Chewing Gum gets two thumbs up.