DREAM Act Fails: One of my biggest disappointments too, Mr. President

December 23rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Speak truth and keep fightin’ Obama! Opponents need to remember the people – the humanity – that this bill would help. And my love to those whose disappointment is far greater than mine or Obama’s, because it most affects you. There are those who will always support you in whatever way they can.

Go Bulls!

December 23rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

The Black Girl Project NYC Event – “Women of Color on HIV/AIDS”

December 10th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Liz and (readers!),

Happy Friday! It’s almost the weekend…so close I can taste it. Mmm…mmm…good. :)

Before your weekend schedule is completely booked, I want to share the details of a dope event that will take place this Sunday, December 12th with all of my New Yorkers out there (or fake NewYorkers like myself).
The Black Girl Project, a non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, NY that seeks to inspire young women of color to reach their full potential through a variety of artistic, cultural, and educational programs, is hosting a movie screening and panel discussion on HIV/AIDS and the women of color community. It is entitled “Prevent, Don’t Manage” Women of Color on HIV/AIDS.

We all know that HIV/AIDS is a global issue, but we often forget that it continues to be a major problem right in our own communities. Don’t let World AIDS Day be the only time you think about how HIV/AIDS may affect you and others. Make it an on-going conversation. It’s time to educate yourself, educate others, promote awareness, get rid of the stigma, and get tested.

Here are the quick details…

When: Sunday, December 12th 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Where: Center Stage, 48 West 21st Street, 4th Floor (Between 5th and 6th Avenues)

Cost: $5.00 BUT free tickets are also available and all proceeds go to Love Heals and
           The Black Girl Project’s After School Initiative.  You can buy and request free
           tickets here.

Please come out and support! Tell your friends, tell your sisters, tell your partners, tell your roommates, tell your aunties, tell your mama, tell your grandmama! It’s going to be a fun, interactive, and informative event. :)

BUT, even if you can’t attend the event on Sunday, I encourage you to get involed with The Black Girl Project, especially if you are in the New York Metro Area. I recently started interning with the organization and believe me when I tell you that Aiesha Turman, founder and director of BGP, is doing some amazing things in Brooklyn, New York City generally, and across the country. Her dedication to improving the lives of young women of color is truly inspiring. Check out some of what she has to say about her work here and here. She’s also just a fabulous person, so down to earth (can you tell I’m friend crushing?) and on a random note, wrote one of my absolute fave movie reviews ever. 
Enjoy your weekends, readers and if you can, please come out and support on Sunday!
Love and Light–

This Woman’s Work: Navigating Sexual Violence, Harassment and all the other Crap

December 10th, 2010 § 5 comments § permalink

Amber,

I was reading an older essay (trigger warning: it’s difficult to read) of Latoya’s over on Racialicious.com about her experience, and those of her friends, of “not rape” or the many forms of sexual violence. It was heavy and deep, and I suddenly began to cry as I read the comments section – so many women describing their own experiences. It was as Latoya wrote – a widespread occurrence and a culture that is too often accepted.

At first, I thought of how my own life did not reflect the experiences of these women. I was grateful that I had never experienced the violence they had. I’ve thankfully never had a boy or a man use his strength against me. But as I continued to reflect, I realized how this violence had in fact crept into my own life. It is widespread. It is invasive. It is ever-present. A threat.

I remembered the boy in grammar school whose hand went to my thigh every time we sat next to each other. How I alternated between pushing his hand away and trying to ignore him as he crept further up or rubbed my thigh until I had no choice but to try to make him stop….again. To this day, I wonder how that really affected me, an 11 year old.

I remembered standing on the corner waiting for my bus when a man walked by, stopped, turned back and asked if I wanted to wait in the front hall of his building. I wondered if another 13 year old girl was not as smart as I.

I remembered the man, clearly much older than me, staring at me at 15, practically following me (how far if I had not turned around?) – a funny story I tell, but with a definite creep factor.

I remembered the letter sent home explaining that one of my classmates had been assaulted. I remembered a friend, so inescapably broken, describing how she’d given head to all these older boys, one telling the other to go find her.

I remembered the stories told by friends of the violence they had experienced – the brokenness they carried with them. I remembered the male friend who asked me, “why do women feel ashamed after being raped? It’s not their fault,” and the shock I felt when I realized he didn’t understand what every woman, whether having been raped or not, understands.

I realized I did, in some small way, know Latoya’s story. I was not as far removed as I thought. And I began to think of all the ways we get so used to it. To the stories. To not remembering them. To casting them aside as an afterthought. We get so used to the battles.

I felt the same way when I read a post on PostBourgie. It was amazing. I felt like I had my eyes opened – “I wasn’t the only one!” She described her experience of being unable to walk down the street without someone stopping her, wanting to talk to her, wanting her number, just wanting a reaction. I read with such satisfaction to realize I wasn’t the only woman who avoided the eyes of men while walking home. I felt so amazed at realizing, hey…maybe this really wasn’t okay?! (and I call myself a [sorta] feminist.)

I have even started to really (you know…truly) notice what makes me uncomfortable. That it isn’t unreasonable for me to become irritated or closed-off when cornered by a man with that look – you know ladies, that look that is “interested” but really only in you as an object, smiling at you like they may have found a prize. You know that feeling.

But too often I second-guess my feelings, wondering if I should really just give them a chance or not be so “mean” or smile because that’s what’s expected of me. It gets so tiring. 

And inevitably these thoughts lead me to recall the fights with my father, starting in high school – his insistence on picking me up from the bus stop after dark, his wanting to know where I’m going and when I’ll be back, my resentment at these intrusions on my life – intrusions that exist because I am a woman, because I am not safe.

But these aren’t really forgotten stories. They aren’t old thoughts. They sit in the back of my mind, brought forward at the slightest prodding. They hide in my feelings – feelings of anger or discomfort or insecurity. They’re there. Always.

So…I had no purpose when I first began. I still don’t. I just needed to write. I needed the space – to respond to what I’d read, to untangle the thoughts jumbled in my head, to remind myself of my own experiences.

How do we, as women, work all this out? 




And just cuz any deep topic is better with music and I don’t want to be too depressed:

Gchattin’ #Glee: Season 2 Episode 7

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue our gchats about Glee….and the on-going love/hate relationship we have with the show.


Season 2 Episode 7: “The Substitute”

Liz: So as Gwyneth Paltrow (aka Holly Holiday) was sitting on the couch drinking a beer with Mr. Schu, I came to a realization….Schu needs some guy friends. Seriously. What is with all these women around him ALL the time. His ex-wife giving him soup and that whole convo was just one more reason for me to be tired of Schu’s sad sad story….

Amber: Omg! AGREED. Where are all the men in Lima and why isn’t Mr. Schu friends with any of them? He’s lonely, surrounded by women, and keeps making bad decisions. I was very disappointed in how he dealt with his ex-wife…low blow dude, low blow.

Liz: Seriously. But I feel like the show made it out to seem like he was completely justified…or somethin. I was just thinking that I’m tired of this sorry storyline and can we move on…Plus, didn’t it seem like Holly was giving him the “hey there!” eyeball too? He needs to be taken down a notch, in my opinion.

Amber: Holly was totally giving him the sexy eye! And I was giving my TV a side-eye. I swear, I was just waiting for them to make out. I woulda been so pissed. On another note, what did we think of the whole Mercedes storyline?

Liz: We thought it was stupid…at least I did. She’s replacing her want/need (?) of a boyfriend with tots?? Really? Really?? And it never fails that you have one character who isn’t skinny and at some point there has to a dramatic plot point (“I am beautiful”), a humorous one or one that I just don’t get all together…such as this time….

Amber: Yeah, when she was all excited about the tots in the beginning, I got scared (my reaction: “Oh, here we gooooo” * rolls eyes * ).

Liz: Ummm…kinda like when I got scared at the Holly moment in the classroom with random girl that storms her….ummm problematic??? Big black girl (I don’t even like to phrase it that way when it’s so packed with stereotypes and imagery….but that’s what they were using) who gives attitude and scares poor skinny blond white (idealistic?) teacher. Lemme grab my shoe.

Amber: Kinda reminiscent of Precious…on purpose, I think, which just really isn’t that funny. It was overly stereotypical and then coupled with Mercedes’ storyline it was just too much…like what are you tryna say? Was it pick on a Black girl day at the Glee studios or something?

Liz: I really just didn’t get all that. It was just weird. For one thing, they’d already brought up the weight thing. So were they bringing it up again? No….apparently they were bringing up her relationship status. By having her drool over tater tots. Honestly, I think the writers were just sitting around saying “hey we haven’t given Mercedes a storyline in awhile…what should we do?” And since everybody and their mama has a love interest story goin on, I guess they decided it was just too much for her to have a real one too. Enter love of tater tots.

Amber: Well, we can’t have too many regular Black characters now, can we? Let alone putting Mercedes in a long-term interracial relationship…?! Not gonna happen (and Mercedes and Puck DOES NOT count).

Liz: Apparently not (and maaan…even tho he’s an ass, I always did love that pairing). Can’t have more regular black characters so enter Precious cameo…and like you said, not even funny. On another note, what did you think of Gwyneth Paltrow?



Amber: I thought she was OK, but largely unexciting. The musical numbers were a lot better in this episode than in last episode though, that’s for sure. “Singin the Rain” was pretty impressive.

Liz: I actually wasn’t that into it. I thought I would be, but maybe I expected too much…I felt like it was just “Singin in the Rain” to the tune of “Umbrella.” And I wasn’t feelin it. Tho the dancing was fun. And I did like Gwyneth as her character. I thought it was a good character and brought some life to the otherwise annoying story lines. And although I love Mike Chang…his and Shu’s rendition of “Make’em Laugh” can’t compare to Joseph Gordon Levitt’s version on SNL. Just sayin’.

Amber: It was “Singin in the Rain” to the tune of “Umbrella.” That’s exaaaactly the reason I liked it though. You gotta admit the mash up was pretty clever…c’mon! (Undercover Rihanna fan)

Liz: Or not so undercover ;)

Amber: * Blushing * Although I thought Mike Chang and Mr. Schu’s dance number was really random, I rather enjoyed it. I’m glad they are finally letting Mike dance. Dude is amazing, and I’m glad that they recognize that dance is just as much of a part of musical theater as the singing.

Liz: Agreed. I also just like Mike. =) And will always support him doing more (lines!).

Amber: Word. So what about Kurt? Are we happy that he’s finally found someone that he feels he can relate to?

Liz: Well…yes. They finally give him an interest. But when I pause to think about it, I wonder why all these friends (the Glee club friends) don’t actually seem to be friends….I mean, Kurt’s response to Mercedes is that she needs a boyfriend? I was kinda like…riiiight. She’s there as your friend until you no longer “need” her. It’s great that he has someone he can relate to, but let’s not cast Mercedes to the side by blaming her for what she’s looking to her friends for. And I’m saying that to the writers.

Amber: I feel like that situation is a pretty accurate depiction of high school though. Kids are shallow. He loves Mercedes, but he’s found something he’s been longing for in someone else. It was a void that she couldn’t fill and this friendship is new, so he’s all excited and invested in it. It’s sad that Mercedes gets left out though, but I’m positive that he will come around…hopefully.

Liz: I agree. High school is definitely like that. I just think the writers kinda blew her off too…it ends with her kinda saying “you’re right. I’m using tater tots to fill a void. I’ll go find a boyfriend.”

Amber: Why did it have to be tater tots though?! Geeeze.

Liz: Seriously!! Lol. I laugh to keep from throwin my other shoe at the screen.

Amber: Lol. Right?! Like you said earlier, too many damn stereotypes…why couldn’t she be addicted to shopping or something…?! Gosh!

Liz: Would make so much more sense. I mean, who hasn’t used shopping to fill a void? (I’m not sayin I have or anything….)

Amber: I have, gurl…and it works. :)

Liz: I’ll take your word for it (wanna go shoe shopping this weekend? :p).

Amber: Lol. If only, mama. Any final thoughts?

Liz: Only that I think Glee needs to step its game up. Otherwise, we’re gonna be gchattin’ about somethin else real soon….(only it’s so hard to let go!)

Amber: This episode wasn’t as bad as last week’s, but I do wish we could just go back to Season 1. :( What the hell happened?

Liz: They started writing their stereotypes more than they dismantled them….but keep hope alive! And the singing going…

“When It All Falls Down”: Kanye West and Moving toward Black Mental Health

November 17th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Liz,

After several months of sucessfully staying out of the public eye, Kanye West has made his way back into the critcial gaze of the media through a host of interviews, tv apperances, and of course, his tweets, to promote his newest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, scheduled to drop on November 22nd. Since Kanye (so brilliantly) decided to open a twitter account a few months ago and let the world share in his randomness, I have been following him very closely and things have gotten to the point where I just have to say something (briefly…lol).

Earlier this month, he held the now infamous interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show to address some of his past “mistakes” including his statements on national television in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, perhaps, most memorable “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.” Peep the videos:

Throwback to 2005: 

and The Today Show:

After filming the interview at The Today Show, Kanye took to venting on his twitter page stating:

“I don’t mess with Matt Lauer or The Today Show and that is a very nice way for me to put it”

“He tried to force my answers. It was very brutal and I came there with only positive intent”

“I feel very alone very tortured very forced very misunderstood very hollow very very misused”

“I can’t be everybody’s hero and villain savior and sinner Christ and Anti-Christ!”

“Everything sounds like noise!!!!!!!!! EVERYTHING SOUNDS LIKE NOISE!!!!! I don’t trust anyone!!!!!!”

*Sigh* Oh, Kanye.

Kanye has never really been one of my favorite artists. Since the release of his first album, College Dropout, I’ve had a sort of love/hate with him. The first time I sat and listened to College Dropout in its entirety, I was blown away. The dude was undeniably talented, and even though I’m not a huuuge fan of hip hop, each track drew me in. And then, he released “Jesus Walks” as a single and his arrogance in presentation completely turned me off; his lack of humility was just too ironic. From that point on, I had the urge to roll my eyes whenever he opened his mouth, and kind of hated that I still had (and succumbed to) the urge to buy his albums. Proving, at least for me, that even though his ego and strong personality may rub you the wrong way, one cannot ignore his overwhelming talent.

Although I don’t think The Today Show did anything out of the ordinary in their interview with Kanye, I can understand his frustration. The media does manipulate situations and interviews in order to make them more interesting. It’s very rare that one is just given an open platform to say what’s on one’s mind without some sort of prompting, especially if one is a controversial figure addressing a controversial issue. But, I think what this and his other recent interviews and appearances may show is that Kanye’s erratic behavior isn’t just fueled by arrogance or an inability to hold a good interview. Since the passing of his mother, it is especially evident that there is some deep pain that Kanye is holding onto. I sincerely believe that he is trying to take steps toward dealing with it and moving forward, but his level of celebridom seems to be a hindrance. He’s starting to become more and more reminiscent of MJ– brilliant, troubled, recluse. It’s scary.

I truly hope he gets the help he needs and if he hasn’t already, seeks out a professional. The mental health crisis in the Black community is a very real thing. We all need to start dealing with it responsibly by starting with ourselves and encouraging others to seek help when they need it.

Halloween 2010: The Adventures of Amber and Liz

November 16th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Amber,

It’s been two weeks – two weeks of back to the grind. Wake up, work, sleep. Repeat. But just two weeks ago we were doing none of that. We spent a week and a half in NY and DC to chase away the working woman blues. Rally to Restore Sanity, hangin with friends, my first slice of NY style pizza, wine and singing Disney…..all amazing times. But here is perhaps the most memorable….and what I’d most like to forget.

We were hipsters for Halloween.

Oh, goodness. I never thought I could feel more ridiculous (sorry hipsters). My exposure to hipsterdom has been to limited to our blog (here and here). So you told me, “All you need is a flannel shirt.” My response? “I don’t own a flannel shirt.” This was gonna be an education. Walking around DC I was incredibly self-conscious and full of loathing for my shoes and glasses and leggings and…..well, see for yourself.

Amber and Liz, if they were Hipsters.

Freakin Scary, Right???!

PS – More about our vacay to come!

Gchattin’ #ForColoredGirls: Art, Tyler Perry and Everything in Between

November 13th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

So after having seen “For Colored Girls,” we knew that we had to post about it. No doubts. And since we were both itchin to say something, we decided to borrow our “Gchattin’ Glee” format and hash it out together.

Seen the movie? Join the conversation in the comments. 

Amber: For Colored Girls. Man, this is a deep one. We saw it a week ago and I’m still processing. I went into the theater skeptical that Tyler could pull it off, but hoping that he would prove me wrong. Needless to say, I was disappointed, and at some points in the film even angry. Overall I think Tyler’s adaptation of For Colored Girls failed to be true to Ntozake Shange’s original message. He completely missed the point.

Liz: It was Tyler doing Tyler with some poetry thrown in. And the poetry made it choppy even as I was mesmerized by the acting. He seems to have one narrative that he has to hit again and again…I remember thinking, why am I not crying? I cry on movies. Somebody starts crying and I’m tearing up. In this movie, I never did. Not once. And I think it’s because I was never invested in these characters. I don’t know them. Things just happen to them. I don’t think Tyler knows them either. He has a narrative and writes it, but it isn’t about real people. Does that make sense?

Amber: It does make sense. His stories are all very one dimensional and this movie, following the same trend of his other films, was lacking in substance and depth. He doesn’t take the time to develop his characters, he writes stories around them rather than telling stories through them, and therefore as a viewer, you never completely develop a connection to them. He tells you how you should feel about them the minute they are introduced and your identification with them never goes much beyond that. It’s funny though that you mention that you didn’t cry (and we know you are a crier. :-P ) because I have really been thinking a lot about Tyler’s audience. I didn’t like the film. You didn’t like the film. But so many people did. In fact, we may have been the only two in our full theater who walked out rolling our eyes. And although you didn’t cry, I know many many people who did.

Liz: Well, just to clarify, I’m not a weeper! I just do the silent tears. ;) But yeah, so many people seemed to enjoy it and I think it’s because Tyler can write a story. People say and do crazy things. You gasp, you laugh, you say “OMG!” There is a sliver of truth in many of his movies even as there are many moments of contrived and cliche plots/dialogue. And Tyler isn’t the only writer/director/producer to create those. But it’s hard to watch when he’s trying to tackle so many deep issues. And when he’s made so many movies with the same plots. His characters are the same with different names.

Amber: But people love him! Despite the fact that he so clearly repeats characters, storylines, and plots. This is what I am trying to wrap my head around. What is it about his films that continues to draw in the crowds? I mean, obviously the fact that “For Colored Girls” was his adaptation of the award-winning and highly esteemed “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” is gonna draw in some folks, critics and supporters alike, not to mention the stellar cast….but those things aside, why does he continue to rake in the millions in spite of all the criticism?

Liz: It’s kind of like watching a soap opera on the big screen. Do you ever really cry on a soap opera? Do you ever actually care about the people? Not really…you just want to let your mouth drop open and wait anxiously to find out what will happen next. It’s solely about plot. Crazy plot. Like seeing a man with another man in the car, caught having oral sex. Your next introduction to him is as a husband. Gasp!

Amber: Yes. I hear you. Tyler’s movies are very much like soap operas, that is actually a great analogy. They are easy to get into, don’t require much thinking, and are mildly entertaining. Here’s my question though: Why then are we so frustrated by Tyler’s movies? Why do we care so much that he didn’t live up to our expectations? Why are we so quick to critique his “art?” The thing is, Tyler is a powerhouse in Hollywood and really the only writer/director/producer who makes films about and geared toward Black audiences (OK, not the ONLY, but right now I would argue that he’s the most consistent and visible). Therefore, I think his work inevitably carries a certain weight with it since he is one of few filmmakers attempting to tell black stories from black perspectives for black people, which is always a heavy cross to bear. It’s a tricky tricky ball game and the simplistic nature of Tyler’s films coupled with the way he has established himself in Hollywood makes him liable to fierce criticism. 


Liz: He brings in the money. I didn’t used to be so critical about his movies. I like Diary of a Mad Black Woman. I found others funny and entertaining. And there are so few movies that showcase the talent of black women (and men) which For Colored Girls certainly did. But as movie after movie has come out, I’ve been more critical of him as nothing seems to change. I’m just kind of tired. And so I’m even more critical when his source material has so much potential, so much power and so much artistry. And although he gets props for what he has done, being a powerhouse means you’ll only get more and more scrutiny.

Amber: Exactly, as he begins to make more films and becomes more visible, people are starting to challenge him to step up his game and improve his craft. An adaptation of “For Colored Girls” was a HUGE undertaking, which shows that Tyler is attempting to expand himself, his stories, and his audience. But the thing is, if you are going to take on such a huge project with so much potential, it’s important that it’s done right and I think that the execution of the film suffered greatly from:
1. Tyler doing everything himself as you mentioned (Did he really have to write, direct, and produce?! Like really, dude…too much…and it showed)

2. His failure to capture and translate the powerful message of strength, beauty, vulnerability, and the wholeness of women of color expressed through Shange’s original work.

3. Telling stories about women through their relationships with men. This was a MAJOR fail, and perhaps most frustrating. His failure to centralize the stories and experiences of the women in the film ended up greatly changing the overall message and impact.

Liz: I think number 3 is directly tied to number 2 – he can’t capture the wholeness of women of color because he only tells the stories through their relationship with men. At the end of the movie, they stood as survivors, but not as agents (except perhaps Loretta Devine’s character who finally kicked her man out). And the male characters suffer too – they are incredibly one-dimensional. They are bad or good. They’re props. So the stories are seen through women’s relationships with men, decentralizing them, but what is it centralizing? These aren’t real male characters either.

Amber: Yes, I agree that all the characters were written poorly. But the fact that Tyler chose to emphasize the women characters’ relationships with the men in their lives in order to tell their stories is such a problem. The stories should be able to stand on their own, but when told through someone else, a relationship, or a situation, the person central to the story is diminished. So is the perspective. Like you so adequately put it, “at the end of the movie [the women] stood as survivors, but not as agents.” And it is clear that Tyler Perry was the storyteller, because he wrote himself all up in them.

Liz: How do you think he wrote himself all up in them? Break it down. ;)

Amber: Well, like we mentioned earlier, so many of Tyler’s characters are cliche and have also become staples of his films. For example, Janet’s character, and really that entire situation between her and her husband, has been done before by Tyler–the strong, independent, educated, financially secure woman who is also emotionally cold, distant, and generally unhappy, married to a man that she emasculates due to her many flaws of character. And the down low brother thing is just tired. The way that situation played out was so problematic and extremely frustrating.

Liz: Agreed. I felt so uncomfortable with those scenes. And when it turns out she has HIV I was cringing…because the way he writes it is so cliche (how many times can I use that word? many.) Seriously, a cough? Why the hell is she throwing in little coughs? That pissed me off cuz it just trivializes it by making it so silly. Sigh. The scene where Janet Jackson and Loretta Devine talk felt like a PSA – which perhaps shows that Tyler wants to reach women of color with a specific message, but is he even sure what that message always is?

Amber: To be honest, it seems as if Tyler hasn’t completely dealt with his own sexism. And it is evident through his characters. In this film, he blamed the women for a lot of what they were going through. Not only were shitty things happening to them, but in large part, he portrayed it as their fault based on bad choices and staying in bad situations. Even though the men were portrayed negatively, the women were blamed for the outcomes: Why did you let him in the house? Why didn’t you leave him when he beat you the first time? Why didn’t you use protection? If you would’ve shown him some damn attention and made him feel like a man, he wouldn’t be looking for men to sleep with….(?) Gaaah. I agree that he seems to want to empower or encourage women, but he’s unable to sift through his own prejudices and as a result his stories strip women of agency while blaming them for their problems in the same breath.

Liz: Problematic to say the least. And it’s too bad. His source material does the opposite. The movie may have ended with the words “For Colored Girls who’ve considered suicide,” but lining up the host of (amazing) actresses to hug each other resolved nothing. It only left me disappointed and wanting to see the play performed on stage. Perhaps the one redeeming moment at the end was this song.

Amber: I hear you and I hope that more people have that reaction. I do give Tyler (minimal) props for wanting to do an adaptation of this play. He has definitely revived it in a way and I hope that the hype will get more people to read the book and hopefully seek out the opportunity to perform it and/or go see it on stage.

Gchattin’ #Glee: Season 2 Episode 6

November 11th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink


Sadly, vacation is over and we are back on our daily grind. Sigh. Fortunately though, this includes our blog grind. And would you look at that, we are all caught up. :)

P.S. We’re totally aware that we skipped the Glee Rocky Horror episode which was totally deep…but we would looooove to know what you thought about it. Feel free to drop us a line in the comments section!

Season 2 Episode 6: “Never Been Kissed”

Liz: I have a feeling this is gonna be good. Thoughts?

Amber: So, I thought that overall this episode was a major fail, perhaps one of my least favorite. It had many good intentions, but with extremely poor execution. About 20 minutes in I was very annoyed and stayed that way for the remainder of the episode. My head still hurts from how hard I was rolling my eyes.

Liz: Yeah. I had so many “omg!” moments….let’s start with the utter failure of adults in this episode. And within Glee in general. Kurt is being bullied so Mr. Schu’s answer is to talk about Kurt’s reaction to it? Instead of addressing the bully. FAIL. Why is Kurt constantly being told he has to suck it up? (I have another beef about Schu but we’ll get to that.)

Amber: Ugh. I have several beefs with Mr. Damn Schu. I like him less and less every week. I agree that if he really wanted to be helpful he would have addressed both Kurt and the bully. I think it’s important that he decided to reach out to Kurt, but if he saw the kid bullying him he could’ve given the guy a detention and a firm talking to at the very least. Wtf?

Liz: If anything, I felt like too often adults are unprepared to deal with bullying among kids. What is the best advice? Not necessarily “be strong.” And speaking of “wtf,” WTF with the bully kissing Kurt??? I saw it coming, but I was still like, really? Really Glee, we have to be that cliche?

Amber: Omg…totally. I think that Glee was attempting to do waaay too much in this episode. On one hand, I really appreciate what they are trying to do with the whole bullying theme. It’s a HUGE deal and it seems as if the writers are attempting to use the show as a platform to address this very real issue that too many kids deal with on a daily basis. In this episode it is definitely evident that they are using the storyline created around Kurt to promote the “It Gets Better” campaign, and not only does it get better, but in actuality bullying stems from pain, insecurity, ignorance, and fear in most cases. I completely applaud the writers for openly dealing with this issue and using the show to reach out to some of these kids, who may be the victims of bullying, directly. With that said, I do think that overall the writing suffered in this episode….it was kinda choppy and the storylines did seem very cliche and poorly executed. One such scene was the kissing scene and another was the portrayal of the all boys private school as a “utopia.” C’mon, dude…not true.

Liz: Not true at all. I can also appreciate what the writers are doing. So many of their themes are trying hard to address issues high school kids face (and I like that!). Bullying is definitely an issue. But it was still just all over the place. And the characters seemed to be acting and reacting in ways that didn’t make sense. That kid Kurt meets (now his boyfriend?) was just way too mature. lol. I mean, they were suddenly having a heart-to-heart talk after just meeting (“could you guys excuse us for a minute” – who talks like that)? The writing really suffered. They tried to cover so much without also sticking with solid characters and dialogue. The theme is definitely important. It’s important to recognize the roots of bullying – to show those characters as more than two dimensional “evil” characters. But let’s be a little more nuanced….Kurt confronts his bully and instead of getting his ass kicked, he gets kissed? Just too cliche for me. Too much drama for the sake of drama. And therefore a pat on the back to Kurt for being more courageous. It just felt so false to me. I saw it coming a mile away but was hoping I was wrong.

Amber: Yeeeah. The kiss was totally dramatic and the entire scene was very predictable. Sigh. Like, I get it. They obvi wanted to show that a lot of the aggression behind bullying stems from fear and insecurity. But, it felt so forced and unrealistic. I mean, kissing someone mid-argument is hard to pull off even if you’re dating…i’m just sayin. The scene came off as an easy way to show that the bully is experiencing a deep internal struggle regarding his sexuality which he projects onto Kurt largely because Kurt is openly gay. It was just way too simplistic and kind of cheapened what could have been a really powerful moment.


Liz: Yeah…that’s the other thing. Not only is this character gay, but he likes Kurt, the only openly gay kid in school. It was just too contrived. I also just didn’t really like the juxtaposition with the guy from the all boys school…I think it was the combination that just felt so set up (which it was).

Amber: The entire portrayal of the all boys private school was so OD and false. “Zero tolerance harassment policy?” Really? I rolled my eyes so hard. If that’s the case, my mother shoulda put me in an all boys school. Shoooot.

Liz: LOL. exactly. And running down the hallway holding hands….they just needed slo-mo.

Amber: OMG! It was in slo-mo! Too much!

Liz: Hence Teenage Dream as the song? Cuz they were dreamin (high-five for my joke! womp womp)….Ok…what about Schu and the coach? OMG. I was yellin at the TV. Mr. Schu, you are not that special! You are not the savior of women. Oh maaaan…I was kinda upset with that whole storyline. He was so damn annoying.

Amber: Mr. Schu is always so damn patronizing, especially toward the women in the show. That scene was so hard to sit through. Mr. Schu is a grown ass man. Not a high school student, not sixteen…a GROWN man! It is so childish to kiss a woman that you don’t have any romantic feelings for because she said she’s never been kissed, especially when she really means she’s never felt loved by a man. C’mon! That scene was so frustrating…so empty.

Liz: She didn’t feel pretty so his kissing her was a sign that she wasn’t repulsive…she was pretty enough to be kissed. And then here’s me throwing the remote! GRRRRRRRR…..I just wanted her to slap him. Did I ask you to kiss me? Not to say, “you really think I’m pretty Will?” OMG. Who cares what he thinks? Or what some little sixteen year olds think? A woman’s esteem should not be based on these things…* shaking my fist at the sky *. Ok, I’ll stop and sit down.

Amber: I was most bothered by her longing for male validation, and the fact Mr. Schu’s self-righteous self slid right into that role and made himself comfortable. She was portrayed as very emotionally weak. Again, I get what they are trying to do with her character by highlighting the fact that she doesn’t necessarily fit into a traditionally feminine model, but they completely overdo it. I can understand why she would be hurt by her students thinking that she’s ugly. That’s always hard to take, especially if you don’t always feel or consider yourself beautiful. But I dunno the whole “I’m 40 and I’ve never been kissed,” “On the inside I’m a little girl.” And telling all of this to freakin Mr. Schu?! Gaaaaaah. We don’t need men to define or validate us, ladies and if you haven’t learned that at 40, cotdamn!

Liz: I get the being hurt thing too…I do. But the show undermines itself – it shows the complexity of her character (her being an outsider) and the effect traditionally feminine “norms” have on her, and then turns around and gives the tools to deal with this conflict to the men. She feels better about herself because all the men on the show demonstrate appreciation for her? Not a good plan. It also rang false that she’d just resign and then whimper in the locker room with Schu. In another episode she cried, but that response felt accurate to what she was feeling and dealing with. This response was just another case of bad writing. It’s not that I don’t think the hurt was real…or that dealing with her esteem issues was real…but let’s have a response that makes sense. Give me some better dialogue. And let’s not let the lesson be that the leading man’s kiss will improve everything. It was not a sweet moment. Seriously, slap him. He’s your freakin co-worker.

Amber: *Snaps!* Tell ‘em, Liz! :) Yes, this episode was poorly done. Clearly, they have good intentions, but please please don’t sacrifice the writing. I seriously had a “what is happening with Glee?” moment. It makes me sad. I kinda love this show. :( I hope they get it back on track.

Isn’t this Kinda Problematic…?

November 10th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Discovered these on PostBourgie. Hot mess. Reason #7843 to not eat at McDonald’s. I mean…seriously??!!