Posts from the ‘Pop Culture’ Category

Mad Men Monday

Sunday nights episode found Don Draper with Anna again in California. I love seeing Don with Anna because we see another side of him that we usually don’t see. Never during the series do we see Don care about anybody or anything else the way we see him care about Anna, and that perhaps it is because it is Don Draper channeling his “real” self and identity as Dick Whitman.

That said, I was so angry when he didn’t tell Anna that she had cancer. If you care so much about her, why wouldn’t you share that news with her? Why not be there for her during that time? It baffled me. I worry about what will happen to Don if and/or when Anna dies. Dick Whitman will be gone forever, as she is the one person in his life that reminds him of who he really is. If Anna dies, so does Dick Whitman.

And perhaps that’s why Don didn’t tell her; because it meant acknowledging that his connection to his true self will be gone forever if Anna passes away. Perhaps sitting with that reality is too much for Don, which meant performing the selfish act of keeping the news of the cancer away from Anna.

Don is slowly unraveling this season between losing Betty and havin’ relations with his secretary. It’s going to be interesting seeing him further evolve this episode.

Did anyone else watch last night’s episode? What did you think? Who else is relieved that he didn’t do the thang-thang with the college chick at Anna’s house?

Addendum: New Yorker Cartoons with Kanye captions

I wasn’t going to post today, but then I saw this great collection of New Yorker cartoons with Kanye tweets as captions. If you’ve seen Kanye’s Twitter page these are rendered more hilarious, but many of them are so well executed that they almost stand alone.

Enjoy. And, you’re welcome.

Mad Men Monday

I’m going to try something different for this season of Mad Men and do a post about the most recent episode on the following Monday. I’ll try to do as few spoilers as possibe, but I can’t promise you that my posts will be completely spoiler free.

I’m hoping the rest of the Mad Men heads who read my blog will chime in on the comment section! Don’t be shy.

From  Basket of Kisses:

Mark called Peggy old-fashioned. He thinks she’s a virgin. She’s not. Peggy hasn’t just had one bad affair gone very, very wrong, but she’s had dirty sex with an older man in broad daylight. It stung her to be called old-fashioned. The lie she’s telling him stung her, maybe some sadness for the old-fashioned girl she used to be, and maybe anger at Mark for needing her to be something she just ain’t.

I know many people will be talking about the return of Glenn or about Don sleeping with his secretary, but I want to focus on Peggy for a minute. We see her lie to Mark and tell him that she’s a virgin, which if you’ve been watching since season 1 we know couldn’t be farther from the truth. By now, we’ve seen Peggy have an affair with a married coworker (Pete), have raunchy sex with Duck, and have what could only be described as a booty call with one other guy. So why would she lie about being a virgin to Mark, and why would Mark so willingly believe it?

I think it comes down to the sexual double standard that many women faced back then, and still do today. I think Peggy told Mark that she was a virgin not only to further hide the fact that she had another man’s baby, but also to perpetuate the virgin/whore expectations that were thrown at women in the 1960s. In some ways, I suspect Mark expected Peggy to be a virgin, even though it isn’t expected that Mark himself is a virgin.

Furthermore, I too was thrown when Mark called Peggy old-fashioned–it just let us know that he doesn’t have a clue about who he’s dating. It seems to me that he should have known just by her occupation alone that Peggy was more than just another girl next door, but somehow he seems to want to fit her into a mold that she simply isn’t willing or able to fit at this point.

And Betty.

It’s so interesting to see how far we’ve come in terms of our attitudes toward Betty. I went from sympathizing with and cheering for her in Season 1 to hating her in Season 2. Now that she’s with Harry she seems to resent Sally even more, which makes me in turn dislike her even more–and I’m pretty sure that’s what Matt Weiner was hoping would happen. I’m not convinced that Henry and Betty will last, and I’m not sure I want to be convinced that Betty and Don are really over as we see Don further unravel without her.

And to think this is only Episode 2.



Kanye won’t let Twitter be great: an open letter

Dear Kanye,

Hey bro. How’s it goin?

It was very cool to see this story about your performance at the Facebook offices. I have to say I’ve been a fan of yours for a while, so it’s very cool to see social media music colliding in such a great way. Even after the emo madness that you unleashed on 808s and Heartbreak, I’m proud to say that I can’t wait to see what you do on Good Ass Job.

But that’s not why I’m writing you this letter. I’m writing you this letter because of you recent shenanigans on Twitter.

and my personal favorite because it’s only stating the obvious:

Taken by themselves these tweets aren’t so bad. But I’ve taken a look at your timeline, Yeezy, and I can’t say that I like what I saw. A whole stream of tweets and nary a retweet or @ reply to be seen. Shame on you, Kanye.

Twitter is about influence, it’s about connection, it’s about sharing information. One could argue that there’s some narcissism wrapped up in why people tweet, and I get that. But you take it to another level. Not only do you randomly follow just one person, but you don’t even interact with that one person you so haphazardly decided to follow!

Kanye, the problem is simple. You have an opportunity to really show us how influential both your image and your music can be, but unfortunately that opportunity is slipping away. Instead of interacting with your fans and giving us a glimpse into your world the way Big Boi or Chrisette Michele does, you give us tweets filled with verbal vomit about jogging in Lanvin or a new Rolex you just bought.

With all that said, I can’t say I’m necessarily surprised that you’re cuttin’ up the way you are on Twitter. I mean you are the guy who interrupted Taylor Swift at the VMA’s last year. But what do I know? I’m just a social media geek in California with high hopes for Twitter’s potential–potential that you’re currently sh*tting on.

Kanye, my request is simple….just let Twitter be great.

and you can go run tell that, homeboy.

Essence Hires a White Fashion Director

Yes, you read that right.

From Fishbowl NY:

The door continues revolving atEssence: now, the magazine has named Ellianna Placas as its new fashion director and Tasha Turner as its new senior beauty editor.

Placas will make her debut with the magazine’s 40th anniversary September issue and will oversee the conception and packaging of Essence‘s fashion coverage, feature stories and multi-platform packages. She began her career in publishing styling cover shoots for 0: The Oprah Magazine. Placas has also worked forUs WeeklyReal SimpleNew York,More and Life & Style.

Former Fashion Editor Michaela Angela Davis had some choice words to say about Essence’s recent decision on her Facebook Wall:

“It’s with a heavy heart I’ve learned Essence Magazine has engaged a white Fashion Director. I love Essence and I love fashion. I hate this news and this feeling. It hurts, literally. The fashion industry has historically been so hostile to black people–especially women. The 1 seat reserved for black women once held by Susan Taylor, Ionia Dunn-Lee, Harriette Cole(+ me) is now-I can’t. It’s a dark day for me. How do you feel?”

….

There is one precious seat at the fashion shows that says Essence the magazine for black women. When asked, “What is your unique perspective for black women?” How is that answered? Even if they got Anna Wintour herself (which editors inside Essence assure me she is NOT) it still would hurt. From a brand perspective there should be a unique lens through which information is filtered…at Essence it is believed that filter is black, female..connected through shared history and soul…I believe we’ve not come far enough for this move.

There’s already been a lot said about this story, so I’ll try to make my comments on this brief. Aside from the most obvious argument–that having a white fashion director at a black women’s magazine raises a few eyebrows–I have to make the point that not hiring Ms. Placas based solely on her race would have been discrimination. But furthermore, Essence has been white-owned for quite some time now, so how surprised can we really be?

I do worry about how having a white fashion editor at a magazine that is supposed to be devoted to the life and style of Black women will effect the magazine’s brand, as Clutch brings up in their write-up on the news.  What does it mean when a magazine for Black women sees fit to have a white fashion editor when there were so many other (black) candidates to choose from? What about her experiences positioned her to become the editor at a Black women’s magazine? And what will she do differently that a black editor wouldn’t have done?

On the other hand, maybe we can’t judge too harshly until we see what Placas does. I’ve heard this argument several times this week, but it’s hard when as a girl I looked to Essence to see images of black beauty and style and I remember wanting to be as regal and as beautiful as the women in the magazine. Essence fashion spreads made me embrace everything that black beauty was and could be.

What does it mean when a new fashion editor of the most popular black women’s magazine didn’t grow up with that experience?

Tyler Perry, step away from the camera.

Last week we found out that Tyler Perry revealed the cast for his film adaptation of for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow was enuf by Ntozake Shange.

Read ’em and weep:

Black Voices has learned that writer/director/producer Tyler Perry has selected the cast for next film, ”For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.

At last night’s premiere for his latest film, ‘‘Why Did I Get Married Too?,’ the black box-office maverick revealed that the cast will include Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Jurnee Smollett, Kimberly Elise, Kerry WashingtonLoretta Devine and Macy Gray.

Based on Ntozake Shange‘s award-winning 1975 play, the film is scheduled to shoot in June in New York with a possible winter 2010/ 2011 release date.

I’m not even going to go in on the cast for this film nor about Tyler Perry films themselves because I know there are plenty of conversations going on about that. I know that we are all looking at Janet Jackson getting top billing and wondering why she’s there in the first place. I know we’re wondering when Macy Gray became an actress or why one “aight” performance in Precious makes Mariah Carey a capable of playing, say the Lady in Red. And lastly, I know many of us are questioning of Tyler Perry knows what he’s doing with a Shange play in the first place, or if he knew about for colored girls… before Oprah mentioned it that one time at Sunday Brunch.

for colored girls… has a special place in my heart. When I was 17, I had the amazing honor and privilege of spending a whole day with Ntozake Shange in Taos, New Mexico during the Taos Poetry Circus. While there, I participated in her small group poetry workshop where I shared some of my work. I spoke with her in depth about for colored girls… and her inspiration for it.

So when I heard the news that Tyler Perry was directing for colored girls, I was disappointed.  Nzingha Stewart, a black woman director, was originally slated to direct the film adaptation of the play, but all of a sudden I started to see Tyler Perry’s name all over it.

Hmmm. There’s something totally wrong with this picture, and it has nothing to do with Janet Jackson getting top billing.

I’m certainly not convinced that Tyler Perry is the best black filmmaker out there regardless of what his box office sales are. But my biggest problem is he is seemingly unable to give up the reins of power, step away from the camera and allow for other Black screenwriters and directors to have their shine.  What would have been wrong with Nzingha Stewart directing the film and even selecting her the cast by herself while Tyler Perry funded and promoted the project? Nothing, unless he wants to convey the message that he is uncomfortable sharing   the wealth and  the limelight with other (young and/or female) talent.

Precious was not a perfect movie, but if it didn’t show us anything else, it showed that Tyler Perry has the potential to fund the projects of other Black filmmakers and help make them a success. Part of being a leader in any industry is helping other young people rise to the top as well. The Black experience is not a monolith; some of us like myself never grew up with a character like Madea. Because of this, it’s important that we have a large variety of filmmakers who can speak to the myriad of ways a Black person can experience and live in society. Perhaps a successful, wealthy director like Tyler Perry is in a position to support other directors in their projects, but what bothers me more than his so-so movies are his unwillingness to step from behind the camera and let someone else take a crack at it.

#PRFail: Nestle is doing it all kinds of wrong

Check out BNet’s post:

About 10 hours ago, Chocolate-maker Nestle posted a seemingly innocent request on its Facebook page: Nestle fans, don’t use an altered version of the company’s logo as your profile pic, or your comments will be deleted. (I’m paraphrasing, but only a bit.)

The reaction from more than a few followers: Don’t tell us what to do, Big Brother! (Again, paraphrasing.) Nestle’s response: The logo is our intellectual property. This is our page, we set the rules. You don’t like it? There’s the door.

In other words, whoever mans Nestle’s Facebook page went on the offensive, responding to individual posters in a tone that was at times sarcastic or antagonistic.

Check out the rest of the story and accompanying screenshots here.

…I’m really hoping that a few heads roll for this one.