Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pop Culture is bleeding and you pulled the trigger… (a guest post)

Next up on Smart Guest Post Week, it's the fellas' turn. Kicking off Thursday morning with some knowledge dropped from the incomparable thinker, Inkognegro. If you have not had the chance, check out his weekly blog talk radio show: The Black Odd Couple. Today, The Inky One will be going on of the state of popular culture today and just who exactly is to blame…

In honor of my guest spot here in BnBworld, I celebrated by actually purchasing a copy of Chele's book, Heard it All Before. I say this not because I am looking for brownie points from her, or even because I think she needs a jump on the March mortgage. I bought it because it is part of my master plan.

What Plan???

My Plan to help rehabilitate Black Popular Culture.

After spending a considerable part of 2009 watching family, friends, and strangers decry and bemoan the state of popular culture: HipHop is dead, there is nothing on TV, all our legends keep passing away in music, all the books are about drug dealers and hookers, the movies are all remakes…etc. etc. etc. I had to say something.

While the simple answer is media consolidation and the endless appeal to our baser instincts, I am starting to see things little differently.

I think history has shown our propensity to view media consumption as an escape mechanism. As someone who uses media consumption for everything from a refuge to a store house for information to therapy to a babysitter to inspiration for all manner of tasks, I completely understand how irrational the decision making process can be when it comes to just what we consume from the mass media portals.

But seriously, folks, if you find yourself watching things because you enjoy talking bad (we'll call it snarking) about the proceedings, especially in regards to these celebrity vanity shows and celebrity incubator shows… are you part of the solution or part of the problem? I am loathe to outright criticize folks' viewing habits until those same people complaining that there is nothing "good" on TV on Tuesday are huddled around the Twitterverse hooting and hollering about the Thursday night hijinks of four women from somewhere near Atlanta who may or may not be housewives.

And while I don't begrudge anyone a guilty pleasure or two, I will say that filling your diet with guilty pleasures will seriously mess up your state of being.

Don't believe me?

Come along with me, let's play Chase the Foolery. Watch as your tolerance to foolishness builds up:

Watch as RHOA (said housewives) gives way to Fantasia for Real (and her beyond-ignorant brother Teeny) which gives way to keeping up with those girls with the famous Black Athlete Boyfriends (their names start with K) which gives way to the Bad Girls Club which begets Jersey Shore. One day, you'll look up and you will be trying to figure out how some random Italian girl ended up on the business end of a 2 Piece and a Biscuit, sprawled out on the floor of a lounge like she was a chalk outline model. And you were there to witness it all. (For those not in the know, just Google it).

During that time you could have read a book, or at least watched a show you actually respect and LIKE.

Unless of course…you LIKE such things, in which case feel free to take your lovely parting gift and wait for Friday's guest post.

As for the rest of you?

Remember as you snark and chuckle it up, that time is the only thing they aren't making more of, and time you spend watching escapist TV is time not spent stepping your proverbial game up.

The moral of the story?

You really shouldn't brag about how many eggs your chickens produce AND then complain about how much chicken shiggity ends up on your shoes. It's a package deal.

Alright folks, Monsieur Ink has spoken. Let's hear it. Fess up – who's guilty of escapist TV watch-n-tweet? What are your thoughts on reality TV today? Is there any redeeming value to these shoes (if so, please share!) And while you're in a sharing mood, please share what you feel is the best show on TV right now and why. The floor is yours, BougieLand… let me hear it.


careycarey2 said...

My Brotha... My Brotha,

First, here's what I want to know... how does one pass away is music? I mean, I've heard of people dying in their sleep, but, in music? I want the hookup! Other than dying in a woman's arms after a brisk romp in satin sheets, I can't think of a better way to kiss this world goodby.

Until then, you said: "Fess up – who's guilty of escapist TV watch-n-tweet?"

Okay, I'll take a shot at that. See, that's an easy question cuz, well, check this. I'd rather stick my fingers in a bag of frog spit than watch any of that reality TV mess. I mean, I'd rather go to a Klu Klux Klan rally while wearing an Al Sharpton mask , than watch Fantasia for Real and her beyond-ignorant brother Teeny. For real,for real, I'd bust up in there yelling "Crackeres-Crackers-Crackers" , before I'd watch "Scanks In The City" or "Chicks In The Promiseland".

However, I have to admit that... well, I have been known to watch The Biggest Losers. But see, that show is inspirational. I feel so good after seeing all that wiggling fat. I have a ways to go in my quest to lose a few (100) pounds, but after watching that show, I pull back my blinds and run around Butt-assNaked.

But, to answer your whole question, I don't Twitter-Tweet either.

Come on man, they should call it Jitter because any ol'crackhead could say "Hi, whatcha doing, catch ya later". I mean, WTH is going on? Really, isn't that system like a drive-by shooting.... "BANG BANG, you're dead -see you later". If a clown calls me on the phone and says, "Whats up man, am going to the movies tonight"..... and then hangs up, I am done with his ass. I mean, really, they could have missed me with that one. I mean, what's with "follow me on Twitter"??!! That sounds like something Dorothy would say to the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion... "follow me down the Twitter (yellow brick) road. See, I've been called a dog but I am not Toe-Dough or Toto. I mean, follow you where?

I don't know about this, my inkognegro brotha. Something has just hit me. Yep, your name says it all. You are someone in hiding. See, you know a liitle too much about these shows. That's right, I done peeped your hold card. You're just like that old white man that pretended to be the Great OZ. Tell me I'm right. I got it!! YOU ARE TYLER PERRY! Don't you have enough money? Why you over here in bougieland, huh? Don't be over here trolling for viewers. Shame on you. I wonder if OneChele had a hand in this. He did say that he bought her book...... uuuummmmm?

Page Bartlett said...

I can attest to the slippery slope. I started watching America's Next Top Model which went over to Oxygen Channel which led me to Bad Girls Club which is really TV hell.
I'm working on it.

The best show on TV is Flash Forward - diverse cast, interesting plot, well-written.

OneChele said...

I hear you. One Sunday afternoon I caught myself watching the Kardashians and beyond being confused as to what exactly they are famous for, I felt that was an hour I would never back...

derek love said...

I was briefly dating a woman who actually QUOTED the RHOA, like those women are quote-worthy personas to look up to? Um, no. Those shows are like potato chips, once you open the bag you are suckered in. And after too many, you feel vaguely ill and in need of a glass of water.

I am still rolling with 24, Jack Bauer FTW.

OneChele said...

I can co-sign on that potato chip analogy.

BB Waite said...

I'm confused by a lot of Carey's comments below but I will say that I too didn't understand the point of Twitter until Chele crash-coursed me. Twitter (like any other social outlet) is what you make of it. You get out exactly what you put in. Who you chose to "follow" and the content you share will define your experience. I have met some great people there. But back to topic, you know I'm not a reality TV person except for my home and garden shows. I do like Undercover Boss too. My favorite show has been Grey's Anatomy though they've been on again, off again for a while... I think they're back on.

OneChele said...

Undercover Boss is good. I can think of 5 CEOs I worked for in the past who need to get on it. Like yesterday!

Cassie said...

Okay, I'll admit it. I watch RHOA, Fantasia, the Jacksons, even a Ray J show or two and ues, I complain about there being nothing but "crap" on TV. I understand the disconnect. In my defense I will say that if they gave me more Different World/Living Single type programming I would definitely watch instead of this.

Has anyone else watched Lincoln Park?

WTH said...

Dude, WTH are you rambling on about?

OneChele said...

I have watched Lincoln Park from time to time. Are they still doing new shows? I thought it wrapped and re-runs moved to TV1 or Centric?

diamond life said...

I wish I thought that me not watching would make the shows go away but unfortunately the TV execs have figured out that it's super cheap to point a camera at foolishness and let it run for hours, even staged foolishness. So now w've created theis whole subculture of pseudo-celebrities who are famous for acting a damn fool for all the world to see. Okay, okay - I'll dial back my reality addictions.

Reads4Pleasure said...

I thought it was just me. I kept re-reading to see if it made sense. Umm, nope, not the first or second time.

Reads4Pleasure said...

I loved Lincoln Heights. Unfortunately no one else loved it and it was just canceled by ABC Family. TVOne is showing reruns of the series with no plans to create new episodes. While everyone has complained about the lack of good, quality TV for and about African Americans, no one bothered to watch this show.

ASmith said...

I watched every season of Lincoln Heights and this makes me unhappy.

What's up with stations putting shows (The Game, now Lincoln Heights) into syndication but not being willing to pick the series back up?!?!

ASmith said...

Oh Carey.

You really should get on Twitter. I'm telling you man... I'M TELLING YOU... you'd like it. Try it out. Just try it. Do it for me.

ASmith said...

"Who gon' check me boo" is #classic, though. Pure classic.

Constant quoting, though, is problematic. At least doing so sans something else to balance it out. A LOT of something else to balance it out.

Steve said...

I haven't found a show to replace the all consuming love I had for The Wire. I also like Entourage, beyond that I tend to do sports-related show.

OneChele said...

Well you know the a lot of The Wire writeres, producers and some of the actors are doing Treme, a New Orleans based show coming to HBO in March... I can't wait!

DNLee said...

who gon check me boo?

Steve said...

Word? That is excellence...

Inkognegro said...

Carey, You have exposed me for the disappointing guest Poster that I am. Initially My intention was to write a rather incediary screed on the epidemic of hubris and snark on the Internet, and how counter-productive it was. How it usually serves only to illuminate the insecurities and general need of hugs of those who trade in it.

I decided against it in an attempt to keep my vitriol in my own house and not have folks hit dogging it all over Chele's blog. I have my own blog for my ideological manifestoes.

I dialed down the rhetoric and submitted a friendly nudge about the power of media to shape our behavior.

But of course, I should have known, some folks can't help themselves.

First things first, Carey.
"all our legends keep passing away in music" refers to the Death of music legends, leaving a hole in music. It seemed to be an easy enough phrase to interpret, I apologize for not being more clear.

Now that we've gotten the basic misunderstandings out of the way, let us cut to the chase, shall we?

You wanna tussle. Nyet.

My momma raised me not to go over other folk's house and get into tussles on they good furniture.

So, I will let the vast majority of your screed go unanswered, not because it doesn't warrant a firm smacking down, but because I was raised better. If you REALLY want it. You're a smart will address me privately and I will clarify whatever you seem to have an issue with.

BUT. I would like to correct you on one especially egregious mistake.

Twitter is a microblogging platform that allows for a wide variety of communication styles via desktop and mobile by virture of its 140 character limit.

While it is certainly true that there is a certain amount of back and forth about what one is doing at a particular time, the reality is that amazing bonds have been forged through media, political uprisings have been fomented and reported upon, and news that has been ignored by the MSM has been circulated, forcing the media to occasionally address shortcomings in their reporting.

Of course you wouldn't know any of that, because you participate, which is fine.

Suggesting that Twitter is somehow bereft of value without using it did a grave disservice to my initial impression of you. A cursory reading of your blog shows that you are an otherwise thoughtful and provocative individual whose blog I will be adding to my google reader.

I would encourage you to ponder such pronouncements of things you are unfamiliar with before posting them in the future.

Inkognegro said...

Undercover Boss is a HUGE hustle. Its like a commercial for the Companies. The CEO samples some humble pie in front of his minions and gives some lip service to how hard theyhave it. If they arent coming off that Paper or making substantial changes to corporate philosophies....I aint buying it.

Suzie S said...

I don't mind a reality show every now and again but where does it end, they keep filming more and more pathologies, it's train wreck TV. Sometimes I just watch cooking shows to escape the drama.

I do lke that new show the Deep End - any one seen it?

OneChele said...

Hmm, I wasn't giving them that much credit. I don't think anyone who didn't go to Hooters before will hotfoot in after the show. On a good note, a friend of mine at Waste Management says that old boy actually did initiate company-wide policy changes after his experience so that's progress that might not have been made otherwise.

Andrea M said...

A classic. But if I hear one more person say "tardy for the party" - UGH!

derek love said...

LOL - My thoughts exactly. Your primary conversational thread can NOT be based on a reality TV show. WDDDA?

Shawn.Smith said...

With the Hooters one, you just have to accept what you know your food chain is known for. Fit women in short shorts and low cut tank tops.

To me Hooters will never be known as a "family restaurant". The only thing I see that really changed for that company is him calling out that manager and making the stop at the processing plant.

The video he talked about producing with the two girls, eh, I don't think would really be productive. Maybe when out doing promotions they wear a little bit more conservative clothing, but other than that....... decent wings, nice looking women, and guys with no chances get to look at them will always have a place.

Hidi said...

Nice post :)

I have no guilty pleasures; I do things because I want to. period. As for reality tv, there is an over saturation. The earliest reality tv show I watched was Real World. At that time, there weren't many at all. Also, I don't take reality shows seriously; they're just entertainment. I don't need these shows to validate my intelligence; it's already validated. {wink} I don't watch too much t.v., but I have seen episodes of Housewives, Ray J, Pepa Show etc.

The shows on t.v. I watch are Project Runway, Cake Boss, 48 Hours, No Reservations, SVU (Special Victims Unit); I find them all interesting so I watch. LOL

Reads4Pleasure said...

My guess is that it's cheaper for them to buy the syndicated episodes than it is to produce new ones.

Reads4Pleasure said...

I like the Deep End, but I'm afraid to really get into it because it's already on the cancellation bubble.

OneChele said...

I like it too. Wow, they really do not give shows a chance to catch on anymore, do they?

Bailey Quincy said...

Just listened to Mr. Ink's radio show on what is a good/woman any - wow! Loved it. As for this kind of TV, I have to pick my poison.
I do like Southland right now.

Reads4Pleasure said...

Nope, seems like back in the day shows were given enough time to find their audience. Even if the first season was horrible, they would tweak some things in the off season and come back with new cast members, story lines, etc. (i.e., Facts of Life - yes, I'm old, what?). These days it seems like shows get 13 episodes to prove themselves and sometimes not even that.

BTW, I'm so glad that TNT gave Southland a new home. The new "season" starts next week. I know it's just the episodes we didn't see before NBC took it off the air, but I'm hoping that viewer response is so great that TNT produces a third season.

careycarey2 said...

***This is my replyy to the comment waaaaaaaaay down at the bottom***

Ouuuuuuu Weeeeeee my brotha, you’re my kind of N*gga. I mean, don’t take that word (N**ga) personally, I’m just sayin’, you brought the real thang. You can write too.

**Excuse me/us OneChele, but Ol’Boy left me a little something that I think I need to clean up.**

Look Inkognegro, this medium is hard on me. The voice can project many emotions/expressions that the written word cannot. A seven-word sentence can be expressed seven different ways through the spoken word. Especially if a facial expression is riding shotgun. Cadence and breaks are missing with the written word. If a person is smiling and laughing, it's obvious they are in a moment of joy. Yet if a person can't see me smiling and laughing soooooo hard that I am farting, it's hard to convey those emotions.

This medium is soooooo hard on me because I miss the use of my hands, my eyes, my head, my voice, and the ability to play off the emotions of the individuals or person that I am addressing.

Having said that, although I mentioned something about that “music” sentence, I thought I was going with the flow of your post. In my eye, it was light, whimsical, and fluffy. So, my entire comment was done in that vain (at least that was my intent).

But see, like I said, I like you. You jacked-up your slacks and came strong at a brotha. I’d roll with you in a bar fight. I can hear you now... “I don’t know who this fool thinks he’s talking to but am about to smack that ass”... Or, something like that *lol*

But look, although you killed me softly (yes you did), the brotha (been somewhere brotha) in me, forces me to give you a little something back. I mean, you used a five-dollar words on me. Here it is "egregious mistake". And, you went on to say: ..."I would encourage you to ponder such pronouncements of things you are unfamiliar with before posting them in the future"

I have to give it to you, Inkognegro, that was some Cornel West type lingo jingo. That was good!

I believe you were referring my little take on Twitter. Well...

Real talk it's the dumbest ish created since the comfort wipe!

Real talk you have to understand what age we are in. People just love NEW, it doesn't matter what the hell it is as long as it's new. So if they came up with Iphone App to translate your voice into a Irish guy then the same Technology Nerds would make up a stupid ass name about that too.

Granted, some individuals have found a love connection with Twitter, but personally, for my money honey, the ish is useless! It's like paying 5K for granite counter tops and saying that's a deal breaker on a new house! We have a lot of dumb ass people with degrees circle banging each other while entertaining over there 6 burner stove!

Back atcha *smile*, I’m gonna put you on my blogroll. Now that’s real. I like your stride. You got skills.

I think we are all-right now? Right?

Inkognegro said...

Ahh...I understand you better. Thank you for clarifying.

OneChele said...

Hey all, you know I loves you but comments that are longer than the article shall be removed by the moderator. Nuthin' but love but um, take if off BougieLand property. Hugs and kisses...

kidSistah said...

Indeed! (a la Omar) I have just started watching The Wire in the last three weeks (my brother loaned me his seasons), and it is very much so a guilty pleasure for me...with each chapter or section I finish, I reward myself with an episode or two. Well into Season 2 and I am beyond hooked LOL

J B said...

Okay, fine. I admit to snarking away at awards shows and "Jersey Shore". It balances nicely with SVU, CSI (all of them), The Big Bang Theory and NCIS. I'm becoming a CBS junky like my grandmother!

OneChele said...

LOL - you do you girl.

Jara said...

WHAT?! Nooooooo! You know what? I'm feeling very angry at the people who keep all of the shows Ink mentioned alive and well...Ratings measurements don't care about snark; they're just counting eyeballs.

sunt97 said...

The only real reality shows that are worth watching are those ones where people are trying to overcome something. I like Intervention, Hoarders and Rehab, with Dr. Drew . Those shows keep it real. I can't stand people running around acting like idiots exploiting themselves for $10,000 and the notoriety of their stupidity. Yes, it's funny to watch how far peiople will go and how dumb they will act but in the end who is the bigger idiot. Then for looking stupid and getting paid or for us sitting there watching it and paying for it?


Brayden Keither said...

Wow ... this is a great blog! Pretty informative as well! That has really helped me a lot in learning some of this stuff that I wasn't familiar with.


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