There Was This Concert on Sunday…

…in which Bey decided to stomp on All of Her Haters, literally dripping so much black feminist sex on her fans that some folks just couldn’t handle it

…and then a 2 Broke Girls ‘Spectacular’ followed, redeeming wounded white womanhood (or something)…


…but thankfully Kid Fury laid me out with the TRUTH: “Beyonce is the Blueprint.” (H/T @MoyaBailey)

…even if she did get blamed when this happened….

…but it wasn’t her. It was just New Orleans, once again, reminding the entire country that infrastructure is nothing to take for granted.

This Superbowl was as American as it gets, y’all. Take notes.

 

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On Fantasy and Feeling (Regarding #Beasts of the Southern Wild)

[Edit:  Warning – Spoilers abound]

If ever there was a film that maximized sensation without devolving into spectacle, Beasts of the Southern Wild was it.  Barely.  It rides the line between poverty porn and social critique, but somehow never manages to lose balance and fall on one side or the other.  It takes children seriously.  Quvenzhane Wallis, the girl who plays Hushpuppy, deserves every one of the accolades she has received.  She made this movie.  Give that child an Oscar TODAY.

Beasts is effervescent with feeling.  Hushpuppy, Wink, and the people of the Bathtub feel everything and the film’s execution of that pleasure is surreal.  Their world is carnal and crimson.  Dirt, sweat, rain, sun, shelled shrimp, alcohol–everything is tactile.  One of the first scenes with the entire community is filled with sparklers, simulating the magic of fête and festival.  Miss Bathsheba teaches social studies using a tattoo of an Auroch on her thigh, a moment so viscreal for Hush Puppy that the beasts become symbolic of the chaos of the storm and her father’s impending death.  Even the crawfish are wet and lush, mouth watering.

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On Violence (From Denver to New York)

There is a suburb outside of Chicago named Aurora.  This is the closest I will probably ever get to the community near Denver that was hit by violence early this morning.

As someone suspended between fandom and archive, this incident is terrifying.  I can’t imagine the unreality of watching one of the darkest superhero movies of our generation, at midnight, and seeing a true villain come through the doors in full combat regalia with three guns and multiple tear gas projectiles.  It would have been traumatizing.  If this had been a practical joke gone wrong, if he’d done nothing but stand there and wave his guns around, it still would have made the news, he still would have been detained, and a psychiatric evaluation would still have been issued.  More than likely, he would have been charged with some misdemeanor for the awful shock he gave moviegoers young and old.  As Alisha Gaines noted on twitter, “it matters that many witnesses first thought is was ‘part of the movie.'”

But for this man to then open fire…in a theatre filled to capacity…in the dark….

I have nightmares around scenarios like this.

And when I heard this was happening in New York, I didn’t feel better.  I felt worse.

There is no question that all of my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, the survivors, their kin, and with the city itself.  But there is also no question that in a city where the mayor and police department are under fire for using ‘Stop and Frisk’ to harass, beat, and kill young black and Latin@ residents, increasing the police presence doesn’t make me feel safe.

It makes me feel terrorized.

Who do we think they will target first if they (think they) see something amiss at the movies this weekend?  How many young people will be killed and how many more will be frisked, placed in handcuffs, or publicly intimidated and made to feel violated and shamed in the name of public safety?

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Interlude: The #SableFanGyrl Dances to the Noisettes

Remember when we were talking black lady silhouettes and other sundries not too long ago?  Aker over at Futuristically Ancient posted the Noisettes video for their new single “Winner.”  Screenshot gallery below:

I love how Shingai Shoniwa is front and center against dancers who, in black from head to toe, aren’t identifiable as either male or female, black, white or green.  And I love her repeated fist pumping, probably because it brings to (my) mind a Black Power salute.

The lyrics themselves are pop-happy, Katy Perry-approved empowerment.  Peep the first verse below:

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Scrying Nicki Minaj, Stupid Hoe, and #Afrofutures

If a video drops in a forest of things that seem to matter a lot–like  fingers waving in presidential faces and self-deportation–does it make a sound?

Nicki Minaj dropped “Stupid Hoe” last week.

Maybe I’m too old to have my thumb on the relevant spaces in the interwebs, but it seems like the video barely caused a buzz.  Responses from Jezebel, Clutch, and Vibe were mainly negative, complaining about Minaj’s use of animalistic imagery, neon colors and her less than creative wordplay.  Black feminists offered mainly negative critique for obvious and perfectly legitimate reasons.  Minaj’s challenge to “stupid hoes” included a reference to “nappy-headed hoes” and images of a pale, plastic, Venus Hottentot Barbie.

Me?  Minaj hurts my head.  She perplexes me.  I think of her as Trickster, two-faced in her betrayal of global black feminist possibility and powerful in her contradictory elucidation of black woman’s power within the realms of celebrity and hip hop.  Reading her as Ellegua, that frightful guardian of the crossroads and the in-between and the everything-that-is-not-yet seems to fit an artist who switches alter egos as easily as she switches clothes.  Conjuring the ritual and physicality of possession seems to fit a celebrity who changes clothes as she changes personality, putting on her and taking off her tropes as each personality comes down.  The sometimes garish, sometimes delightful carnival of color, glitter and expression–even the repetitive dancehall/house music refrain–also fit a woman whose aesthetic choices continually find their footing in her Trinidadian roots.

In other words, I think of Nicki Minaj as diasporic black, as radical, and as speculative.

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Interlude: The Sable Fan Gyrl Presents….

Robots of Brixton from Kibwe Tavares on Vimeo.

ROBOTS OF BRIXTON

Brixton has degenerated into a disregarded area inhabited by London’s new robot workforce – robots built and designed to carry out all of the tasks which humans are no longer inclined to do. The mechanical population of Brixton has rocketed, resulting in unplanned, cheap and quick additions to the skyline.

The film follows the trials and tribulations of young robots surviving at the sharp end of inner city life, living the predictable existence of a populous hemmed in by poverty, disillusionment and mass unemployment.  When the Police invade the one space which the robots can call their own, the fierce and strained relationship between the two sides explodes into an outbreak of violence echoing that of 1981.

 

via Factory Fifteen.  Another interesting video features an ambiguously brown girl or young woman, riding a train through “a suggestive re-representation of the existing and possible future.”  Lots of dark and twisty metal and empty spaces in this one.  #Prophetic

And if you still haven’t checked out “White” by A. Sayeeda Clarke, also full of speculative, afro-boricua futuristic goodness, then you are missing out.

In other news, N. K. Jemisin is dropping early chapters of the third book in her mind-blowing Inheritance trilogy, “The Kingdom of the Gods.”  And while I can’t look because I know I’ll be hooked and then all I’ll be able to do is curl up in a little ball on the floor of my room and rock and moan until the entire book is available for purchase, I encourage you to check them out.

Seriously.  Check them out.  And if you haven’t bought the first two in the trilogy, make that happen too.  Especially all yall who wanna buzz about the Help and justify your $15 movie ticket purchase with some foolishness about supporting black actresses.  Want to support black women making art?  Let’s go.  Don’t read books?  Buy it for a girl of color in your life who does (and yeah, I’m looking at you non-poc folks as well.  You’ve got at least one black friend.  Buy it for them.  They’ll appreciate it.  They may even thank you).

Besides, a book is whole lot cheaper than a movie ticket these days.

 

Interlude: Sable Fan Gyrl Approved

Muhsinah
“Yiy”
Daybreak 2.0

~*~*~*~*~*~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The Sable Fan Gyrl joins Kismet Nuñez is one of the Skillsharers of the of the 3rd Annual INCITE! Shawty Got Skillz workshop at the 2011 Allied Media Conference!  Help us get to Detroit!  Click here!  


Afrofuturism’s Stranger Blues

1993 Cover of Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

…I woke up this morning
And I put on my walkin’ shoes
I’m goin’ down the road
Cause I got them walkin’ blues

I’m just a stranger here
I’m just a stranger there
I’m just a stranger everywhere
Sometimes I know that I would go home (I would go home)
But I’m a stranger there…

I’m just a stranger here
I’m just a stranger there
Good God, you know
I’m just passing through
Passing through your town.

I would stay
But your people keep on doggin’ me ’round….

“Stranger Blues,” Sweet Honey in the Rock

Bernice Johnson Reagon and Aisha Kahlil of Sweet Honey in the Rock composed “Stranger Blues.”  It was released in 1985 on the group’s album The Other Side (Flying Fish Records).

And when I heard it, I heard these lines:

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