REI-thinking What Matters

In a bold business move, camping superstore REI has announced that it will not open on Black Friday.  Wait, not open?  That’s the mythical Dia de La Dough, when shoppers abandon their families still sleepy with turkey, and roam rabid through the malls.  If the packs of shoppers are large, then all winter, the nests of the elite are feathered with fat stacks of cash.  If the shoppers stay in their dens, then the winter is long and cold indeed.

28FA17E500000578-0-image-a-37_1432300875283

So imagine the upset when a bunch of earthy crunchy types decide to close on this most important of seasonal hold-days.  While the trend for some time was more and more stores opening earlier and earlier–some on Thanksgiving itself–it seems the season is changing. The most rabid of shoppers may want to get to the hunt, but for most of us, having a chance to cozy up in the den is worth any killer deal.

2390E7EB00000578-2852585-Scrum_down_Customers_push_each_other_out_of_the_way_as_the_crowd-72_1417213372623

I can remember when things really did close over the holidays.  Gone were all the distractions of daily living and the streets were hushed. Days seemed long and wild. With all of the usual hustle and bustle on hold, my Mom and Dad had the time to tell stories at the dinner table, to play with us kids, to snore like crazy in from of the football game, to create culinary delights that required more time than weekdays held.

The magic of the season wasn’t in jingling store bells, but in heat crated out of love alone that time at home allowed us to create.

Thanks, REI, for bucking the tired trend and giving each of us a chance for the greatest gift of all.

Your Awesome Blackface Costume: A Rating System

Its Halloween time, and nothing says Halloween like an Awesome costume. Lately the stupid PC police have been raining on everyone’s parade, talking about how your Halloween costume shouldn’t be disrespectful to women or latinos or blacks or whatever, but its just for fun so they need to stop being babies about respect .

2802290_1_l

Blackface is a classic.  So what if blackface was the narrative that contributed to the oppression of blacks from slavery straight through Jim Crow, the makeup is cheap and your fun is worth perpetuating racism in the 21st century.  Besides, no matter what kind of character you go as, if it includes blackface, your sure to get tons of attention.  But how do you know which blackface costume is right for you?  Picking the right one is a matter of taste–are you looking for something more subtle, maybe a socially acceptable black or are you a real risk taker?  Here we’ll show you some of the boldest blackface costumes with our very own special level system from beginner to advanced.

Basic level

EUDvS65

There are too many Awesome black people to not dress up as one.  So what if you are a white person.  Saying whatever you want is your first amendment right–no, as a matter of fact, it’s your privilege –so whats wrong with a little Halloween privilege?  If people are staring at your Mr. T costume, its only because Mr. T is so culturally relevant, they wish they dressed as him too. Since you love Mr. T, you automatically are not racist.  Pretty sure blackface is okay as long as you like the guy, right?  So what if your friends tell you  its not cool?  What would they know about how cool shoe polishing your face for A-team greatness is?

Emmy Level

107440pcn-julianne

Dressing up as Crazy Eyes is totally okay because Orange is the New Black won an Emmy.  The character is soooo cool, I mean sad too, and so she’s not a stereotype, right, a black woman in prison, so what’s the problem with that?  Dressing as Crazy eyes wasn’t tone deaf–it’s tots relevant, just like my friend’s Michonne costume.

michonne_the_walking_dead7 I mean, the Walking Dead won an Emmy and even though zombies are wicked gross, Michonne is a strong black woman and totally feminist so she can’t be off limits.  These Michonne costumes are everywhere.  They’re too popular to be racist. So what if  your sorority may be featured in the local news, they just don’t know how cute your pixs looked on Instagram.

Intercontinental Level

enhanced-buzz-28808-1382112908-11

Blackface isn’t really like blackface when you dress up as an African, because they’re, like, African.  You know your history, and of course blackface was used to denigrate American blacks during the 19th and 20th century, but those were Americans, see?  So dressing like an African, thats not racist because they’re Africans.  So nothing wrong here, you world history buff.  So what if your social media pictures spark international outrage, shaming your family on multiple continents. the outfit was too good to pass up.

Jeezy Level

pic

Get creative with your reasoning:  Only racist do racist things, so if you’re not racist, then racist acts become not racisct, get it?  George Bush doesn’t care about black people, but you do, so you can’t be racist.    Besides You’re so cool with black people, they might think it’s real!  Don’t get mistaken for Kanye in this season’s hottest blackface costume.  No one will mistake you for racist, just a clever consumer of all things TMZ, right?  Besides, as an educator, you want to set a good example for the kids.  If you’re going to do blackface, make sure you really commit to doing the hands too.  Kanye’s awesome, and with your wife dressed as Kim K., your couple Kimye costume is worth ending up on the evening news.  Its worth writing that apology letter.  Its worth the employment consequences that come with Jeezus Level blackface.

White Hood Level

Screen-Shot-2013-10-28-at-11.14.39-AM

When offending people with blackface is just not enough, trade in the last of your human dignity for this  halloween costume.  Mocking the death of unarmed teens is sure to make you the talk of the town.  So what if your costume is overtly racist, you have the right to act like a walking sack of shit by trading on death and injustice for a few seconds of negative attention.  And if you lose you job and your friends because you just couldn’t resist, at least you know that white hate groups are still recruiting.

hikind26n-1-web

Remember, dressing up in blackface is always offensive, so definitely be prepared for all the comments you’ll get!    Be sure to take plenty of pictures, and post them widely on social media–the internet loves to make blackface pictures go viral, ensuring your moment of racism lives forever.  Level up by tagging your boss, your mother and favorite local community organization so they can tell you how proud they are of your ignorant racism, or cut you a final check before they ask you to leave.  Whatever your blackface level,  get your makeup on and get out there.

 

 

Hero With A Thousand Faces: Deal With It

Yesterday, in case you didn’t feel the ground shake, the full length trailer for the New Star Wars movie premiered during Monday Night football.  First, enjoy…

Fans of Star Wars crashed servers watching the hell out of the trailer, but it didn’t take long for the interwebz to raise one of its uglier heads.  A hashtag # BoycottStarWars appeared just hours after the trailer debuted, accusing the film of promoting White genocide.  Why the freak out?

Twitter_racists_want_to__BoycottStarWars_over_female_and_black_lead_actors

The main character, played by John Boyega is –wait for it–a black man. The idea that a black man is a lead, a hero and alive in outer space seems to be sending some people, well, into outer space.  Now, of course, these boycotters should feel stupid; it’s 2015, Black people are not some situation that Jim Webb controls and so you are going to see–thank God–some diversity in film.

May-the-4th-Be-With-You-John-Boyega2

But when you’re done shaking your head at how cray-cray these boycotters are, consider this:  they are right in pointing out the significance of casting Boyega in the lead.  We know already that there is a real drought when it comes to lead actors of color playing the hero.  Go ahead–quick–name 5 movies with hero of color….I’ll wait while you Google it……..

Unknown-1

The UCLA diversity report  released in 2015 looked at films 2011-2013 and found that whites are overrepresented and minorities are underrepresented.

www_bunchecenter_ucla_edu_wp-content_uploads_2015_02_2015-Hollywood-Diversity-Report-2-25-15_pdf

When we look even more closely at the most iconic heroes conquering the silver screen, there are even fewer characters of color.  When Idris Elba’s name came up as a possible casting choice for the new James Bond, strong backlash erupted, and not just from internet trolls.  James Bond author Anthony Horowitz called Elba “too street” to play Bond.  Hey, hey, he wasn’t being racist,   just saying that Idris- friggin-Elba is “not suave” enough. What?!

idris-elba-sexy-8

But I digress…. Celluloid heroes have always been white, sometime even when they were not supposed to be.  Remember that above all, studios are looking for products they can bank on.

Lawrence-De-Arabia

Rest easy, Star Wars producers.  Casting John Boyega as the lead is not only a good move to increase the now-dismal diversity in Hollywood films, it turns out its also good for business.  The same UCLA deviltry report found that films that featured 40% characters of color did better at the box office. Turns out, trolls, that diversity pays.

star-wars-vanity-fair

Hollywood and the smaller tubes around are taking note of the importance of embracing diversity in order to reflect an increasingly diverse audience watching in the real world. I’m not saying Hollywood is getting it right, but they have at least identified it as an area in need of improvement.  In an increasingly diverse country, It makes good business to get out ahead of an unstoppable trend.

Hero_01

Make no mistake; Star Wars is no ordinary film.  It is modern myth.  Based on the work Hero With a Thousand Faces by anthropologist Joseph Campbell, Star Wars is not just the story of a hero, it is the story of all heroes.  It is the right thing to do to create myths that reflect our culture.  We live in a world with heroes of every race, and film is long overdue to reflect this.

Boycott if you want trolls–that just leaves more seats for the true fans–those who know space has no limits.

#BlackLivesMatter: A Bibliography for the Revolution

#BlackLivesMatter

img_black-girlreading We, at Black Lives Matter Nashville, believe we are in the midst of a revolutionary movement for black lives. We believe we are at war with systems in this country and world that demean and undermine the humanity of black people–namely, white supremacy, patriarchy, transphobia, homophobia, capitalism, and imperialism. Thus, we believe in arming ourselves for the war. And we believe there’s no better way to arm ourselves than with books. We’ve compiled a rolling bibliography of books that have been helpful for us while we conceptualize and navigate this movement. It’s rolling because there’s always more to add. Please submit more books, documentaries, links, and resources that have shaped and impacted you to blacklivesmatternashville@gmail.com.

Mass Incarceration

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis

Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture by Angela Davis

Slavery By…

View original post 589 more words