Generalize This.

Protect your nuts.

One of the most interesting facets of being an internet talking head, especially in the relationship realm, is how often people get their panties in a bunch about generalizations. Now, I’m not sure if it’s because people aren’t sure that we don’t know better or because people just like to point out that everybody isn’t XYZ. Whoopty whoop whoopty whoop whoop.

Here’s the long and short of it: I both know that everybody isn’t one way or another. But I also talk to too many people at once to NOT generalize. Also, I tend to assume that most of the reading populace is smart enough to grasp the concept that I don’t need to put “some” in front of every generalized statement in order to play fair. Well, the reading populace here anyway.

But here’s another issue that I take with being called out on generalizations (and to be real, and rude as this is going to come off, I generally don’t give a f*ck): none of us motherf*ckers are really that special anyway. People don’t like generalizations because they’re too easy. They paint everybody with a broad brush. We’re not all the same. Yes. I know. But the larger your sample of individuals (like say, “women” “men” “Black people” “white people” “ninjas”, etc) the closer you get to an average baseline. The fact is, while you, the specific individual, may not be a nag, in general, a preponderance of women are.

While you, hombre, may not be the inconsiderate, selfish f*ck that men are painted as, there is a huge majority of men who are. Period.

Then there’s this other game that both men and women run when being talked about in a negative fashion: “none of my friends are like that” or “I know more people who aren’t like xyz than are like 123″.

Bull malarkey. We don’t believe you, you need more people. Show and prove. All I do is spark mad izms. While we do tend to exaggerate at times (obviously) the truth is that most people are speaking from personal experience. And somebody like myself who has made it a point to try to do the best I can to observe human behavior (almost to a fault) the generalizations that get made aren’t THAT off base, if at all. Same with stereotypes. I f*cking love stereotypes. Hell, in some instances I attempt to BE the stereotype. You want a n*gga to show up? I’ll be that. If you expect it, allow me to be it.

But people hate those too. And I’ve never understood why folks got so up in arms. Stereotypes are rooted in truth. Now, I understand that most have a pejorative nature to them and since they tend to be generalizations about large groups, nobody wants to be lumped in with that group.

But that’s because you people all want to be special. We have worked so hard individually to NOT be that stereotype that we want to move far from it. Hell, some of you right now are ashamed of your hood family because they fit every stereotype known to man, but because you don’t, you don’t like stereotypes and prefer that they don’t get used.

Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit.

Also ran…why don’t folks come down on comedians for their rampant need to use generalizations and stereotypes as as means of social discovery and exploration. Hell, that’s effectively what we do here. And even on sites that are less comedic so to speak, unless you take a larger aim at a subject there’s no discussion to be had. If every time I wrote something I said, Some of You Slob Knobs For Fun But Most Of You Don’t (not true anyway), there’s no discussion or debate to be had. Because there’s nothing to argue. It’s statistically accurate and damn near teflon to dissect.

I honestly think that the only way race relations in this country will get better is if Black folks and white folks sat down at a table and put all of the generalizations and stereotypes on the table as discussion points. That’s how you move forward. The only way you can get past the surface level misunderstandings is to discuss what they are in the first place. Which are generalizations. And stereotypes. Once you get past that point, sure, you can do away with them.

But that’s also a one-on-one thing. And we ain’t there yet. And at the end of the day, most of us have encountered more generalizations than outliers and exceptions to the rule anyway. So while I understand the beef with generalizations, I also think that getting upset about them does more of a disservice than discussing the circumstances around how we even got there in the first place.

All men are dogs? Yep. Now here’s why and here’s where you’re wrong.

All women are insane? Yep. Now here’s why and here’s where you’re wrong.

All Black people are criminals? Wait..what?

All white people smell like wet dogs? Um. What?

Sometimes you have to just put sh*t out there in order to get the debate going. Plus, a ninja like me? I’m the arsonist. I arson sh*t. But at the end of the day there’s a discussion to be had. Hate or love me at the beginning or end of it doesn’t change the fact that the discussion needs to happen does it?

Good people of VSB, what say you? Do generalizations and stereotypes have any place in discussions and debates or are they a detriment to true progress?

Talk to me.

Petey.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka DAT N*GGA aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Who’s To Blame?

***If you haven’t already, check out “10 Things You Probably Don’t Need to Know About Black Porn (…but I’m going to tell you anyway)” — The Champ’s latest at The GoodMenProject***

Unhealthy romantic relationships and their fallout are the bane of the black community’s existence. Every major issue plaguing us — poverty, crime, dropout rates, Tami Roman’s weave, etc — is either a peripheral or straight up direct effect of our collective inability to choose the right partner and be the right partner.

And, while there are myriad factors contributing to this, today, in 2011, most of the blame lies with us. But, in what’s quite possibility the longest, weirdest, dumbest, and more important “chicken/egg” game ever played, we can’t quite figure out if women should shoulder the majority of the blame for continually choosing shitty partners to mate with, or if men are mainly to blame for f*cking women over and not giving them many options.

In order to finally find some solutions, I invited the two smartest black people in the world — twins Jack and Jill Jenkins of Youngstown, Ohio — to VSB today to debate both the male and female perspectives. Hopefully we’ll finally be able to decide on an answer after hearing their arguments.

Jack: Even though most of y’all broads don’t deserve it, I still believe in chivalry. Because of this, I’ll let Jill make her argument first.

Jill: Ha! Let me? Negro, half of y’all can’t even buy a car without getting a cosign from a dick-drunk white girl. The only thing you’ll “let” me do is whip your ass in this debate.

Jack: One question: When you go to bed at night surrounded by your 27 cats, do you give each of them an individual good night hug or do you just hug them collectively?

Jill: Anyway…look. I and the rest of the African-American female populace are tired of being blamed for all ailing the black community. We’re fed up with being depicted as bitter and antagonistic welfare-dependent Bust-it Babies who contribute nothing to American culture other than Tyra Banks and the five future demons from hell who made their way out of our vaginas and are going to rob you and rape your pets in 10 years.

And, most importantly, I’m absolutely sick at the fact that some of y’all hypocrite analog-ass n*ggas have the audacity to blame us for getting played and occasionally left barefoot and pregnant by you. I admit that we need to make better dating and relationship decisions, but right now, you can’t fault us for not seeing the rare glass of water in the middle of the thousands of cups of bleach and beaver shit we’re forced to drink from.

Jack: Shhhh. You hear that noise?

Jill: What noise?

Jack: That’s the sound of the world’s smallest violin, playing a tune for the black woman’s woes. If you listen closely it actually sounds like it’s playing “Up Jumps The Boogie” by Timbaland and Magoo.

Listen, spare me with your sob story about being blamed for everything. Black males are still the one’s getting killed at record rates, we’re still dying of hypertension when we’re 37, we’re still having entire political campaigns playing on everyone’s fear of us, and we’re still being made to look like hyper-violent 4 year old superthugs. In the bi-annual Oppression Olympics — held yearly in Oprah’s backyard, er, Gayle King’s mansion — we’ve received each gold medal in every event.

But, I’m not here to talk about that. What I do want to discuss is why we get blamed for the shitty dating decisions that you all continue to make. Yes, it’s true that many women in the hood are left barefoot and pregnant by dudes, never to be heard from again. But, what’s also true is the fact that it’s usually the exact same dude knocking up the entire hood! Raheem, Raymond, Rakeem, Rakim, and Rashawn don’t each have multiple babies. No, Raheem has like 18 by himself; going door to door like a Jevohah’s Witness, leaving semen deposits instead of copies of Awake! Yes, it’s true that professional black women may have trouble finding and keeping men. But, what’s also true is that the same 573 chicks are usually each fighting over and f*cking the same seven guys.

Jill: Oh, here we go again with the “the community is f*cked up because all of us dumb black broads want the same men” argument. Seriously, this theory has weaker legs than Stephen Hawking. What you and your brethren fail to realize is that black male relationship dysfunction comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Many of the men claiming to be “good guys” are just wolves in disguise; guys who aren’t able to live the “player” lifestyle they want and haven’t been able to bag the video vixen they so desire, so they end up tricking us into dating them and liking them before they show their true colors.

Sh*t, you don’t think we all want to meet a nice man? You don’t think we want to be able to trust someone? You don’t think we want someone to love us back? Someone who’ll commit? Someone who we know will at least attempt to hang around if I end up pregnant?

Jack: Actually, I don’t think you want those things at all. I think you know how to say that you want them. I think that you know that you’re supposed to want them. But, your actions don’t follow your words. If you truly wanted all those things they’d be at the top of the list when you’re thinking of desirable qualities that a mate should have.

Instead, you end up being led by your stupid-ass p*ssy, and instead of meeting men who you know already have those traits, you end up falling for some loser, hoping that he’ll eventually have them too. And, as long as there is no incentive to be “good” — and by “incentive” I mean “p*ssy” —  you’re going to see more and more men go the dog route.

Jill: That’s exactly what I’m talking about!!! Why does it always come back to us? Why are we the ones who always have to be the social arbiters, the one’s responsible for whether everyone makes the right decision? I thought men were supposed to be the Alphas dogs, the leaders! Why can’t you police your own damn selves and just do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing for once, motherf*cker?

Jack: Get the hell off your moral high horse. People (all people, men and women) are going to do what’s expected of them and what they’re allowed to do. The only difference between you and us is the fact that you’re policed by your uterus. If you subtracted the possibility of pregnancy, y’all would be “unpoliced” just like we are. You think it’s coincidence that our families started to go in the shitter at the exact same time y’all became “sexually liberated” and started popping birth control pills like they were Tic Tacs? Male behavior has always been the same. The only difference now is that it became cool for you all to be hoes.

Jill: I see someone has recently graduated from the Michelle Bachmann school of Misremembering Facts. “Our families started to go in the shitter” when you all decided to go all Dirk Diggler on us in the 70′s; staying home all day and sleeping in different beds every night. Also, do you realize that you’re trying to convince me that a man’s truest instinct is to run away from responsibilities they created? You do realize that, right? You’re basically trying to get me to believe that an unpoliced black man will do something that no other animal in the entire f*cking kingdom does? Do you really want to “win” that argument and convince me that even roaches have more of a moral foundation that black men?

You know what? Nevermind that. Seriously, though, Jack. No one is asking you all to be saints. Just be as decent to us as we’ve tried to be to you. Just make a gotdamn f*cking effort. Is that too much to ask?

Jack: Do you really want me to answer that question?

Jill: No, I don’t. I don’t believe a word of anything you say anymore, so your answer would pointless.

Jack: That’s a shame.

Jill: I know.

—The Champ

***FOR THE DMV VSBers: Come join Panama Jackson this Saturday, August 6, 2011, from 10pm-3am at Liv Nightclub for Reminisce, a party dedicated to the the 90s brought to you by Shine On M Productions x Just Cause x Very Smart Brothas. With music provided by Sup Qool DJ Quartermaine, it’s going to be a throwback to the days when most of us were in college and living the good life. All 90s hip-hop/r&b/dancehall all night long. And most importantly (and best of all) its FREE until midnight ($5 cover after) OPEN BAR on rail liquor from 10-11pm and NO DRESS CODE. Come out and party like you used to do to the music you still listen to and take a shot with Panama Jackson.***

the great debates

nas

**flashback to 2001**

the champ was returning from the mall with a few of his teammates, listening to wblk and ranking the ass-to-waist ratios of hispanic sophomores on campus discussing scouting reports when they all heard a faint “f*ck jay-z” on the radio.

stunned, they killed their convo and turned the radio up, each of them literally awestruck as they listened to nas’s “ether” for the first time.

for the next few months, the nas vs jay-z discussion would dominate hip-hop america, its debate the main topic of discussion at every corner, cafeteria, dormroom and utility closet. everyone had an opinion, and everyone had a laundry list of reasons on command to strengthen their argument

thing is, for most people with a vested interest in the battle, this debate had nothing to do with which artist was “nicer” or whose catalog was greater and everything to do with public validation of their own personal worldview.

you see, in the heart of most nas supporters hearts (myself included), they really didnt care if the blueprint was a better album than stillmatic (it was) or if ether was a better track than “the takeover” (it wasn’t).

they just didn’t want to be seen as a jay-z person, because being the type of person who rooted for jay meant that you also stood for unadulterated capitalism, anti-intellectualism, pretentiousness, nafta, power windows, brothels, and the cheescake factory. also, more importantly, they didn’t want the “jay-z people” to win

never mind the fact that the real life nas is, by most accounts, an arrogant pseudo-intellectual assh*le, or that being dogmatically anti-pretentious is the epitome of pretentiousness, the debate was bigger than both of them.

it was a clash of classes, a crunch of competing cultures where symbols and principals take precedence over facts. where why you’re fighting matters infinitely more than who and what you’re fighting for. where carmen bryan is still a slut became hip-hop’s pattie boyd.

as i reflected on this, i began to think of other popular debates where the principal matters more than the actual facts, where where you stand depends more on your worldview and what each side represents than how you actually feel about each side, and a few came to mind.

mac vs pc

***despite the fact that my comp has more viruses than luvvies feet (and i live two blocks away from an apple store), i’ve stuck with my dell pc out of exaggerated cheapness principal***

nba vs college basketball

***seriously, if a person claims to be a basketball fan, this is the single most important question you can ask them. their answer (and reasoning behind it) will tell you everything you need to know regarding their feelings about race, politics, patriarchy, mimimum wage, p*ssy, womanism, the aclu, their parents, and free chicken***

natural vs perm

“destination cities” (nyc, l.a., atl, mia, d.c., etc) vs everywhere else

alicia keys vs beyonce

***even before the thundergoat and the camel got hitched, people who sided with beyonce in this debate also usually sided with jay-z. point being, we’re all frauds***

whole foods (and trader joes) vs local supermarket chains

kobe bryant vs all thats good with humanity

ok, thats enough from me right now. people of vsb.com, did i miss any?

—the champ