The 2014 Oscar’s Real Time Diary

This would be a spoiler if, you know, everybody didn't already know. #LupitaLove

This would be a spoiler if, you know, everybody didn’t already know. #LupitaLove

I’m here blogging all the way live from Huntsville, Alabama since Mother Nature has put her foot all up in the arse of the East Coast this winter. I been stranded, I been stranded. Hopefully I make it back to DC sometime in the near future, but for now, you’re gettin’ some southern fried funk all up in your e-reader. Swag.

Well, because most ninjas I know are watching the Oscars tonight because of 12 Year A Slave’s nominations, I figure I may as well participate in the action with some blogaliciousness. Swag me out.

Also, we’ll see how long I’m able to keep this up. I usually get bored by the Oscars. This year is likely to be no different. Luckily I have my favorite white woman, Ellen, to keep me entertained.

8:30: Annnnnnnnd we’re off. Normally if I see this many tiny white men I assume its a midget KKK rally. Do those even exist? I’m going to keep watching anyway, tho. Luckily these are all tiny see through mannequins. What?

8:32: I f*cks with Ellen the long way. Word that up. I even f*ck with this neck-tie thing she has going on. Thomas Jefferson is like, “I swagged that out first, my Gs”.

8:33: And already Ellen hit our elderly population with the first insensitve joke. I luvs her. See what I did there? Luvs? Diapers? But I’m sleep. Oh…and African jokes. Somali? Sommelier? Bong Bong.

8:35: Can we start a petition to get people like Ellen to host everything? Chris Rock was good a few years back if I remember. Oh…and let’s make sure that LL never hosts anything ever again. Shots at Hollywood’s degree attainment. Though techincally, if somebody was gonna pay me $10milli I’d bounce on college too and buy me a degree online from DeVry. Or ITT Tech.

8:36: Can we please have a moment of silence for the bangin’ ness of Jennifer Lawrence?

8:40: “And now welcome our first white presenter: Anne Hathaway!!”

8:42: First award up, Best Supporting Actor. We’re one award in and we’ve already got more awards presented than the BET Awards from the past 10 years combined. The lesson here? Well there isn’t one. And Jared Leto walks away with it for Dallas Buyer’s Club. Jared Leto is one pretty motherf*cker. He is also fly as THE f*ck up there. Shout outs to mothers stay winnin’ outchea. This ninja talked for quite some time though. I mean, he’s really speeching this up. Wrap it up, b.

Jared Leto is one talkative chap.

8:47: Jim Carrey sighting. Is he the most successful In Living Color alumni? Real question. I asked this real question on Twitter and Twitter quickly said Jamie Foxx. This is debateable, but Jamie might have it.

8:50: Look at Kerry Washington up here introducing another Black person, Pharrell performing “Happy”. Das racist. I mean, it might seem crazy what I’m about to say, but I’m happy so f*ck it. You know, I love this song, but I can really say that I did not see this song taking off like it has. Every day I see somebody post that they are listening to this song to start their day. Which is good, don’t worry, be happy. But some of y’alls is some liars. I know some straight up angry folks posting that song. Must be an example of irony or something. Oh, and Pharrell dancing with Lupita? Racial harmony from the album cover or nah?

8:57: I’m already losing steam but then I heard Samuel Jackson. And I’m like, of course, Samuel Jackson. If he doesn’t yell, I will be disappointed. I feel like Sam Jack needs an honorary Oscar for existing. Shit should be an annual award, “the Samuel L. Jackson Award for Existing”.

9:02: Harrison Ford came out still talking like Branch Rickey from 42. I can’t tell if he normally talks like this and I didn’t know or he’s still acting.

9:05: It’s very easy to get distracted by other things while the Oscar’s are on. For instance…wait…Channing Tatum looks extremely pretty right up there on stage and I’m sure every woman just exhaled. Wait, what was I talking about again? Dammit. Distracted again.

How long is this show? Dammit.

9:11: Ellen outchea giving away LOTTERY TICKETS to people who didn’t win????? That’s so ice cold and hilarious at the same time I don’t even know what to say. I just used like 20 words to say something that I didn’t know what to say.

9:12: Okay, Matthew McConnaghey (sp?) is one fly motherf*cker. Like, for reals. And, listen up America, Botox is not always your friend.

9:15: I saw Frozen and didn’t love it. I thought it was cool, but didn’t love it. However, America seems to have felt differently. That damn movie is EVERYWHERE. So, if Frozen is in a category, Frozen is winning a category.

9:20: I feel inclined to say that at this point, I’m literally fading. I haven’t had a drink (that’s not completely true) but we’re all here for the big awards. They don’t televise stuff like, “Best Singer who Wears Socks”, we could definitely cut the time on this show by only televising the awards most of us watching even realize exist. With that being said, Sally Field.

9:22: I swear I feel like I’ve been watching this show for the past 3 days and its only been an hour. Fuuuuuuuu*ck.

9:25: Some people are singing some song about something. Wow, this is getting REALLY hard to keep up with just from an awake standpoint.

9:36: Bradley Cooper is one cool dude. Even when he’s talking about documentaries, he makes them seem like extra cool documentaries.

9:40: The Oscars just got hit with “His Eye Is On The Sparrow”. We’re all better off for that even if I didn’t see that coming at all.

9:43: Angelina Jolie manages to prove that if there is a fountain of youth out there and you can stay fine as long as you put your mind to it. She is FOCUSED on staying bad as hell.

Here’s whats happened in the last 17 minutes:

Brad Pitt lookin’ like he drinks at the fountain of youth with Angelina every morning. Viola Davis came out and hit the Kenya Moore twirl like “Lupita ain’t the only darkskint woman of note outchea people” and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

10:03: It’s possible I never really pay attention, but there have been a pretty substantial number of Black folks on here thus far. I think. Michael B. Jordan came out with some type of urban wear star tie clip. I’m gonna say that was not a good move. But he’s the man anyway.

10:05: Ellen really was posting the selfies she was taking. That makes me feel like I’m really apart of the process. Awww…thanks Ellen.

10:11: We’re finally getting to the awards that most of us care about. Best Supporting Actress…and the winner is….(I’d totally smang Jennifer Lawrence)….(Lupita is too regal for me to say anything so crass, this feels like a blog post in the making….but ummm…she purty)….HOLY SH*T SHE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LUPITA I MEAN!!!!!!!! And she went up there and gave a good speech. I feel like everybody was happy that she won.

You know how some people just seem like you want good things to happen to them. That’s how I feel about her.

I could probably quit now since this is the ENTIRE reason why I watched this long ass show. But I’ll try to continue to stay awake.

10:22: Ellen really just ordered pizza and handed it out. To the audience. She is LEGIT one of the best hosts for all times.

10:26: Bill Murray is still very funny. I have nothing else to add to that.

10:35: Pink is singing. She can sing. People will stand up and clap for her.

10:37: Pink finished singing. People stood up and clapped for her.

10:42: Ellen with the fairy costume. She has energy. She needs it. This show is still going on.

10:59: I lowkey forgot I was doing this by now. Let’s see what’s happened since we last spoke. I honestly don’t know. They did the dead people tribute and Bette Midler sang a song. She sang “Wind Beneath My Wings”…I used to love this song. Still do. You know, I remember many people’s voices much differently when I was younger. Their voices were…better.

11:11: At this point I’m just waiting for the big awards to happen. Oh…Jamie Foxx just showed up with Jessica Biel. Jessica Biel is all types of win. ALL TYPES.

11:33: We’re at the director’s award…Sidney Poitier is on stage in all his vaingloriousness with Angelina Jolie in her fineness and Gravity took it. I haven’t seen it so I’m hatin’. Not really. From what I hear the movie was amazing.

11:41: And we’re nearing the end of the show. This show needs some rappers. Anyway…the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role….Cate Blanchett. For somebody from Australia, she’s done a good job kickin’ that accent.

11:48: Matty M takes the best actor prize. He did a great job in that movie. Also leads to the conspiracy that we can’t get but too many in one night. Not really a conspiracy though. I’ve been drankin’.

11: 56: Motherf*cker, 12 Years A Slave wins Best Picture.

And I’ve given all I have.

Godpseed and good night.

-VSB P

The Point And Purpose Of Tyler Perry

madea-goes-to-jail-original

I’ve always had a bit of a like/hate relationship with 50 Cent. I liked him back in the How to Rob days, and I also liked both Get Rich or Die Tryin and The Massacre. (I still maintain that What Up Gangsta is one of the best album intro tracks in rap history.) Yet, I hated what he and his popularity “represented”—whatever that means—and I wasn’t particularly unhappy to see him fade into musical and cultural irrelevance.

That said, I’ve also always been impressed by his shrewdness. He was basically the Marlo Stanfield of music—so single-minded in his goals that he was able to be pragmatic and clear-headed in a way that others concerned with sentimentally and humanity just aren’t able to be. He showed hints of it in his music, but it would really come across in his interviews. And, perhaps the most astute and self-aware thing I’ve ever heard any artist say was said by him on the subject of Kanye West.

I forgot the exact quote, but a few years ago he offhandedly said that Kanye’s fame was partially due to him. Basically, (paraphrasing) a guy like Kanye—who didn’t “fit” any of the usual rap star archetypes—was able to be so popular because fans needed a counterpoint to people like 50.

Admittedly, I scoffed when first hearing that. But, as I thought about it some more, I couldn’t deny that there was some truth to what he was saying. In order for “G.O.O.D.” (See what I did there?) to emerge, you need “bad.” Without the presence of bad, good just isn’t as relevant or necessary.

It’s a truism that transcends music. Batman doesn’t exist if Gotham wasn’t so thoroughly messed up. Shit, although I’ve been a huge Obama supporter, I realize he may not have even made it to office if the Bush years weren’t such a disaster.

Anyway, this (finally!) brings us to Tyler Perry.

Regardless of how you personally feel about him, you can not deny that there is a sizable percentage of the Black population who consider him to be the bane of all Black existence, and would personally strangle a dozen kittens if it meant he wouldn’t make any more movies.

I do not feel as strongly. In fact, I’m glad he is as popular as he is. I am not a fan, but I’ve come to realize that his pervasiveness has an ultimate purpose besides creating content geared towards an oft-ignored segment of the population, and I think we’re starting to see exactly what that is.

To wit, of the dozens of movies that have been or will be released this year, three of them have received a bit more Oscar buzz than any others.

Fruitvale Station—a “Black” movie with a mostly Black cast and a Black director.

The Butler—a “Black” movie with a mostly Black cast and a Black director.

12 Years a Slave—a “Black” movie with a mostly Black cast and a Black director.

I know there’s still several month’s worth of movies to be released, but I cannot recall a year when the three most critically buzzed-about movies all happened to be created by Black people while featuring unambiguously Black themes. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

Would these movies have been made if Tyler Perry didn’t exist? Possibly. Would they have each received the same type of critical acclaim? Maybe.

Still, I can’t help but think that the presence and popularity of Perry has both inspired Black filmmakers to be better and also reminded producers, moviegoers, and critics that Black movies deserve space in their collective consciousnesses. Perhaps his products aren’t everyone’s taste, but their cultural ubiquity may have had an osmosis effect, prompting creatives to push the envelope in a different direction, and prompting fans to demand more nuanced depictions of Black culture.

Does this mean Tyler Perry is a “bad” guy. No. Not at all. Just the cultural antihero we all deserved and needed.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) 

It’s Over Now: Things You Should Give Up At Age 30

Life's a b*tch and then you die.

While meandering through the wonderful world of Twitter the other day, I happened upon a conversation with world the world-famous @areefuhstanklin and @basseyworld about fashion tips for men with no fashion taste. Admittedly, a lot of men do indeed lack a fashion sense all their own. Most of the under 25-crowd dresses like 106 & Park (does this show still come on? I actually don’t know) rejects while a lot of the 25-34 crowd has one go to club (and life) outfit: the button up shirt and blazer that Usher and Kanye West made so popular…

…in 2004.

Yes. Confessions AND The College Dropout came out nearly six years ago. Yes. You just might be old.

Thing is, it was inferred that men over age 30 shouldn’t be wearing Timberland’s anymore. And I’m assuming we’re talking the construction boot “butters”. And that is patently wrong. If you’re from the Northeast, Tims are go to shoes for doing any and everything. They’re all purpose like a motherf*cker. While they’re not as comfortable as their popularity might indicate, fact is, for most of us, they’re the non-tennis shoe, non-dress shoe of choice.

So what I’m saying is that @basseyworld was wrong. However, there are certain things that one should give up once you hit age 30. Here’s a list for those that either don’t know, don’t show, or just don’t care about being a menace to South Central (or South Los Angeles now) while drinking their juice in the hood while watching the boring ass Oscars where Zoe Saldana looks like she’s trying to become PETA’s public enemy number one.

1. Aspirations, hopes and dreams of fame and fortune if you’ve been toiling away for 10 years and you’re still only famous in your building

Look, I’m all for the belief that if you see it, you can achieve…except it’s a total lie. T-Boz’s acting job in Belly teaches us that failure is a very real option. Nas’s acting for that matter, too. More than likely, the comments section will be filled with people saying “dreams of being a rapper” and it’s true. You should not start rapping after age 27. Period. It’s tacky and I feel sorry for your mother.

2. Camouflage clothing items

Unless you are specifically called away to a combat zone by the Secretary of Defense, you look like a damn fool. Camo is generally a bad fashion statement anyway, unless you are a Que and also wear purple and gold boots – a combo that is ONLY okay if you’re a Que, kind of like pink and green – but there comes a point where there just is no good reason to put on camo. I’d wager that when rappers stop wearing is that point (like now) but I’ll give you until 30.

3. Cheap colognes and oils from the subway/Metro man

Step your grown person sh*t up and pay for a real fragrance. If you want to smell homeless, then okay, but generally cheap sh*t smells like cheap sh*t.  Go to a real counter and somebody who charges you sales tax.

4. Music that includes odd associations with something called a Wacka Flocka Flame

Wacka’s associations go all over the place from Gucci to Shawty LO to people with worse names. Basically, I’m saying that upon reaching age 30, you should give up on any music from Atlanta that doesn’t involve somebody who worked with the Dungeon Family. Word.Life.

5. Outfits that intentionally include sweat pants

Sweatpants, while all purpose, are really not going to get you too far in life. At a certain point – and yes DC, I’m looking at you – sweat pants should be used for just that, sh*t that makes you sweat. I’ve seen way too many old ass men running around in overpriced designer sweatsuits thinking that looked good. It.did.not.

6. The apostrophes in your name

You know, if you ghetto and all.

7. Dreams of f*ckin’ an R&B b*tch

Biggie dead. Your dream should be too.

That’ll do, pig.

So what else should folks be giving up when they turn 30?

Explore. Explain.

D’extra Wiley.

(Wow. Mo’Nique won!)

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL, HE A 3