Moving Out Of The Boondocks

Boondocks-2014So Aaron McGruder is out at The Boondocks. Somebody asked me to care. And I tried.

But you see, Aaron McGruder wrote his own personal farewell so to speak on his own Facebook page for a new show…also on Adult Swim:

As the world now knows, The Boondocks will be returning for a fourth season, but I will not be returning with it. I’d like to extend my gratitude to Sony and Adult Swim for three great seasons.

I created The Boondocks two decades ago in college, did the daily comic for six years, and was showrunner on the animated series for the first three seasons. The Boondocks pretty much represents my life’s work to this point. Huey, Riley, and Granddad are not just property to me. They are my fictional blood relatives. Nothing is more painful than to leave them behind.

To quote a great white man, “Hollywood is a business”. And to quote another great white man, “Don’t hold grudges”.

What has never been lost on me is the enormous responsibility that came with The Boondocks – particularly the television show and it’s relatively young audience. It was important to offend, but equally important to offend for the right reasons. For three seasons I personally navigated this show through the minefields of controversy. It was not perfect. And it definitely was not quick. But it was always done with a keen sense of duty, history, culture, and love. Anything less would have been simply unacceptable.

As for me, I’m finally putting a life of controversy and troublemaking behind me with my upcoming Adult Swim show, BLACK JESUS.

AM

It seems almost as if McGruder had some sort of realization that what he wanted versus what he could get weren’t aligned and also realized in the same breath that he was fighting a battle he couldn’t win. Except, again, he got another show on the exact same station. This confruses me. Word to Young Buck.

Confession time: The Boondocks, the television show, never quite lived up to what the comic strip was to me. I realize we loved the show – similar to Chappelle’s Show – almost in a way that what it represents its greater than what we actually got. Don’t get me wrong, the shows I enjoyed, I truly thought were well executed. But I just don’t know if it ever truly lived up to what I expected. Also my fault, you know what they say about expectations.

Somehow, McGruder being either put out or leaving almost makes sense at some point to me. I’m not even sure i can articulate why, but the show seemed to be successful despite not being, to me, what I thought Aaron McGruder was trying to accomplish no matter what he says via his FB message.

At some point, perhaps we all outgrow the very things we created. Now perhaps that can be spurred on by the powers that be or maybe it can be created from our own demons. But in the case of somebody like McGruder who is so closely tied to the show and its very ethos, I wonder how this might potentially affect its brand and its fanbase going forward. McGruder wasn’t a central character and yet we felt his fire and passion through the characters he created, envisioned, and executed finally turning them into television characters. It was McGruder editorializing via characters. It’s Family Guy with an urban edge.

Boondocks holds a special place amongst the urban professional and thinking sect. While I may not think it was as good as it should have been, I can’t pretend that it doesn’t occupy a certain rebellious space and a counter in ratchetry that most of us can relate to.  I do wonder if leaving the ship to the mateys and a captain that might be just learning how to navigate can maintain its significance.

All this to say and to ask, does McGruder being out at the Boondocks matter in the grand scheme of things? Seems like he’s okay with it, but can it maintain its relevancy without its captain? What do you think? Does anything matter…at all?

-VSB P aka MR. MISTER aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

So What Exactly Is “Black Love”?

Yesterday I wrote a post about Barack and Michelle and their love shining bright. They let their souls glo…and shine through. It’s a beautiful thing.

Well in the course of writing that post, I mentioned the term “Black love” quite a few times and began to ask myself what that actually meant. Now, for the purposes of most conversations in the community, saying Black love usually doesn’t require a definition. It’s like pr0n, it might be hard to define but folks know it when they see it. There’s never really been a need to place any boundaries or limits on the term. Conversely, I don’t think most of us really think about how deep the idea is in and of itself.

The concept of Black anything has always been an interesting. I’m no expert on any other culture and I’m sure I’ll be corrected on this, but Blackness is one of the few areas of most of us colored lives that gets questioned constantly. Not being Black enough is a real shot at somebody’s character. And it usually means that you’re attempting to be white. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. If that’s who you are then that’s who you are. But nobody every says, you’re being too Latino or Chinese to a Black person. Naw, you’re just not Black enough. Does that happen to Latinos, Asians, etc? Are super proper speaking Asian kids sellouts? I doubt it.

Point is, Blackness is complicated and always will be. So the concept of Black love can’t be simple right?

If two Black people are dating or married and in love, does that, by default constitute Black love? Is seeing a woman pick up her son and give him a kiss on the cheek…is that Black love? Or two good friends doing the Black man handshake-hug combo that I’ve seen so many other ethnicities f*ck up with tremendous aplomb.

Seriously, why is that sh*t so difficult. I’m not saying that we, The Blacks, are just more dexterous and athletic than everybody else, but we definitely have coordination on lock. You know what, we’re more athletic too. It takes a real athlete to do some of these handshakes we do. In high school, me and two of my best friends had a 15-step handshake. It was as ridiculous as it sounds. I promise.

Is that Black love? I mean the dedication and loyalty we exacted in order to efficiently bust out that handshake? We were committed to one another because who the hell else would we be able to do that? That’s got to be it right?

In truth, I think the entire concept of Black love is just that…a concept. Its those horrendously cliche ass pictures that you see being sold in mall kiosks with some naked, rippled Black man holding some naked nubian black woman with their bodies intertwined. While I’d never ever put that type of picture up in my house – my tastes are a bit more discerning than that – I get why they exist. Black love is the ideal of unity and togetherness. It’s this ideal of strength shared between two people attempting to reach a common goal…

…which would explain why we care so much about the idea since, community wise, we have some serious issues with each one of those principles. That explains why seeing Barack and Michelle is an example because they look like they represent all of those things as a unit.

Hell, they’re a unit. My guess is that other ethnicities don’t necessarily dwell on the ideal because they don’t have to. Clearly those goals exist in other communities and are the bedrock for a long-lasting relationship, but for some reason, I do think we place more of a premium on those things in the Black community likely because of our shared history. We may not be monolithic but that history of ours can’t stop and won’t stop. Then again they said that about Rocafella Records and you see how that turned out.

There’s something about Mary…but Blackness has certain complex simplicity about it. No Teedra. That’s why we throw Black in front of so many things. Black power, Black love, Black box…was a good group, Black music, Black black. I’m not completely sure what they all mean but they all mean something. And it’s something that nearly all Black folks, even those of us who spurn most things of the diaspora, can acknowledge and accept.

But I ask of you, folks who love to wax poetic and philosophical, what exactly is Black love? Is there a definition or perfect example or do you just know it when you see it? And if you’re white or other…what do you think? Let’s talk shop.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. BLACK aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Anti-Pretty Proximity: Why Powerful Men Have Affairs With “Plain” Women

I'll be back...with some condoms and a pint of Baileys

(From a Gchat conversation last week)

J**: omg. you seen what the kindergarten cop got himself kicked out the kennedys over????
Champ: i haven’t. i wouldnt be surprised if she wasn’t attractive, though
J**: its ridiculous
J**: she looks like she works at the fiesta mart. repeat: he got KICKED OUT OF THE KENNEDYS OVER THE CHECK OUT LADY AT THE FIESTA MART
he’s an ungrateful ass nigga
we let him come into our country
star in our shitty action movies
marry into our elite
and run our most trifling state
and THIS is what we are given?
he goes and knocks down the bitch from the fiesta mart????
Champ: LOL. you’re funny
J**: im dead ass serious
Champ: thats what makes it funny
J**: i feel like we should deport his ass

If I made a list of “Recent happenings that shocked me about as much the f*cking sunrise, the news that an ultra-rich, ultra-famous governor had a decade long affair that produced a lovechild would be first, right after  “Chris Bosh dunks and awkwardly pounds his chest like a velocipede” and “if I leave the bathroom door open when I pee, my girlfriend’s cat will try to jump in the toilet (again) and will probably succeed (again).”

Am I implying that it’s usually a forgone conclusion that an ultra-powerful man will be unfaithful to his wife? No. I’m explicitly stating that it’s usually a forgone conclusion that an ultra-powerful man will be unfaithful to his wife. No need to be all Pollyanna about power and sexual psychology.

But, what seems to really bother people like my friend J** isn’t the fact that Schwarzenegger stepped out, but that this rich and famous man — a man who governs in a state known for having a ton of very attractive and very, um, “free-spirited” women — chose to jeopardize his marriage for someone a bit plainer than the type of woman a powerful man should be able to easily pull.

(More J**)

J**: women have no such weakness
J**: i have never seen a woman display such a lack of judgment
J**: you never hear about women having sex with pookie the crackhead bc he was nearby
at least if you go to all-star weekend to have sex with whoever are the current basketball players of the day
you have a chance of accruing child support
you know
as opposed to aids and herpes
and not much else
Champ: those chicks aint f*cking lebron, though
they’re making trips down there to f*ck lebron’s cousins
J**: lol

Despite my jokes, I can see J**’s point. While unfaithful women tend to cheat “up” (To be honest, the jury is still out on this “fact” as well. There are quite a few women married to lawyers and doctors and sh*t who get their backs blown out by school bus drivers, barbers, and relationship bloggers), history is full of examples of powerful men — Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, every character Michael Beach has ever played, etc — choosing relatively unattractive women to cheat with (And “relatively unattractive” in this case means that these men are in positions that give them access to more traditionally appealing women), a phenomenon that doesn’t seem to make much sense…at least until you realize that the majority of these situations share the same characteristic.

Anti-Pretty Proximity

You see, proximity matters more than any other factor — trumping physical attraction  – when these types of men end up having these prolonged affairs. It’s the one tie that binds Monica Lewinsky, Sahel KazemiMildred Baena, and countless other mistresses, the one thing that’ll make a powerful man who should be used to and (somewhat) impervious to the potentiality of new p*ssy risk everything for a “CHECK OUT LADY AT THE FIESTA MART,” the one reason why truly smart wives make sure that their senator husbands have 72 year old male maids, personal assistants, and secretaries.

They (the husbands) see these women (the mistresses) over and over and over again, and this has a habit of turning appreciation into attraction, attraction into desire, and desire into a yearning. And, since these are powerful men used to getting their way, they don’t stop until the yearning is fulfilled (repeatedly)

The Anti-Pretty part comes into play because, well, these wives aren’t stupid. They know their husbands have wandering eyes, so you better believe that they’re preemptively vigilant — doing what they can to limit and/or void his interactions with any woman she deems a threat.

“His new personal trainer’s boobs are a bit too perky? Hmm, maybe we should join a gym and start working out together.”

“The barista at his favorite Starbucks is a bit too cute and flirty? That’s easy. I’ll just buy him one of those $1,000 cappuccino machines so he has no excuse to go there anymore”

“Our nanny walks around like she wants to get f*cked? Wait, I’m a Kennedy, right? Can’t I just have her killed?”

But, the mistress’s plainness allows her to slip by undetected, as the wife is practically insulted to even consider thinking of her as a threat.

“What? Lupe? The gardener bitch with seven fingers on her left hand? The one who smells like Swiffer and wasabi? Please. I know my man has dog tendencies, but give the n*gga some credit at least”

You wonder why Arnold decided to have an affair with the help and how he managed to have a child with a woman that his wife saw practically everyday for 10 years? That’s how. Anti-Pretty Proximity

I told my friend J** about the Anti-Pretty Proximity theory last night. Her reply?

J**: so sad. well, “you cheated on me???  when i specifically asked you not to????” would be the last thing that any cheating husband of mine ever heard. bc i would shoot him dead
probably on vacation
Champ: you would take him on vacation to shoot him dead?
J**:  yes

—The Champ

No rapture means that God wants you to stay on Earth and purchase the paperback or the $9.99 Kindle version of “Your Degrees Wont Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime”

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email of the week: male stock options

soon to be former mayor kilpatrick with christine beatty, the patron saint of light-skinned points

soon to be former mayor kilpatrick with mistress christine beatty, the patron saint of light-skinned points

i received this email a couple of weeks ago from ashley “the fireman” johnson (aka “hood bradley“), a friend of vsb.com

IS THERE A FAITHFUL POLITICIAN OUT THERE…ANYWHERE?

If we just go w/ the big scandals…we first heard about JFK and Marilyn, then Bill and Monica, most recently Elliot Spitzer and the Miami pro, now John Edwards.

(Oh, and lets not forget Thomas J. and Sally Hemmings — who started it ALL…)

What is it w/ these fellas and their inability to stay faithful. The power? The prestige? The young, fresh intern-quality @$$ just lying around D.C.?

And what is is about their wives, who be standing right next to ‘em at the “blow up ya’ spot press conference”?

Lastly…Barack. Will he fall victim too, if he assumes the throne? ‘Cause you can imagine that Michelle would box-cutter that playa.

ashley could have very easily substituted powerful/popular man for “politician” in the title, and the theme would have remained the same. as reluctant as i am to admit that any particular gender has the edge in the cheating sweepstakes, history has shown us that men with elevated social status seem to be more likely to sidestep faithfulness and monogamy more than anyone else.

from the theory that the type of competitive and borderline compulsive personalities that high achieving men typically possess usually extends to the way they view the opposite sex to the fact that this same hyper-assertion and aggression is an aphrodisiac for many women, there are myraid possible reasons for this dynamic…but maybe chris rock is right. maybe we’re truly only as faithful as our options.

as much as i love to get on my ivory tower and bray about the fundamental selfishness and weakness exhibited in habitual cheating, maybe every guy (including the champ), regardless of how moral they claim to be, has a “breaking point”, a p**sy point of no return. maybe the only thing separating me from kwame kilpatrick (other than the fact that i would have at least picked a chick who didn’t look like the mulatto version of bea arthur) is that i just haven’t reached mine…yet.

honestly, i’m stumped. people of vsb.com, how would you answer ashley’s questions?

—the champ