Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's A Mad, Mad World


Head over to Butlerway.com to read my recap of Mad Men's season seven premiere "Time Zones," which finds our fedora-wearing anti-hero at the precipice of another crisis, not that that's a surprise. Don's always got drama, but chile Peggy's not fairing much better personally or professionally.

"[New boss Lou Avery is] nice, and funny (in a Dad sort of way), and patient and agreeable. You’d think Peggy would be happy, but nope;  she can’t stand what she feels is the mediocre work he and the rest of the creative team are churning out, pushing Stan to create an ad for her/Freddy’s Acutron pitch even after Lou signed off on another idea. As much she may have resented, or outright hated Don at various points, she fed off of and was inspired by his fire and restlessness. It was the high that sustained her through the many lows—the scapegoating, the berating, the tossing of dollar bills in her face—of their complicated partnership. She may or may not miss the man himself, but she definitely misses the energy he brought to the office.

Of course, Peggy may not be so unhappy at work if she was fulfilled in her personal life. But we know Ms. Olsen has never been able to keep that glass half full. Ted has fled for California—though judging from his lack of a tan and Pete’s comments about his sour attitude, Cali’s not the cure-all he’d hoped it be—though she can’t be completely free of him, as he keeps popping up in the New York office to check in on things, rubbing salt in a still-fresh wound. Her home life consists of little more than fighting with a tenant and her kid over repairs; she practically begs her sister Anita’s husband Jerry to stay the night so he can fix a broken toilet. Her boss is immune to her creative charms, and her ex-lover/boss is immune (or acts like he is) to her feminine ones. Is it any wonder she breaks down in tears when Jerry leaves?"

Read the rest HERE.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

'Yass Bitch Yasss'

*FYI* It's come to my attention that the source for this post, TheNewsNerd.com, a satirical website a la The Onion. Nevertheless, my basic point stands--and wouldn't put this past Soulja Boy.

Ugh, dear god what kind of fuckery is this? Soulja Boy, he of mid-to-late '00s "Superman" and "She Got A Donk" fame has decided to it's time get those rainbow dollars, announcing plans to release "Yass Bitch Yasss' a single designed to appeal to the gay club.

“Everyone needs good music. Even though I am not gay, I don’t mind making music for anyone who wants to listen to it. That Fly Young Red track blew up — and I am trying to get this money by any means necessary. If that means I have to say a few yass bitch yasss’s, then that is exactly what I am going to do. Some people will probably be hatin’, but they can’t hate on how my money stacks.”

At least he's being honest. Look I've already offered my thoughts about what looks to be a trend of rap artists creating ratchet club tracks for the gays, so I'll be quick: it's great that we're being considered as a viable market for music in a way that would've been unthinkable 20, 15 or even 10 years ago. But musically this shit is garbage. We deserve much better, and I'm beseeching the gods that Tim'm West, Le1f,  Kaoz, and Frank Ocean churn out some fire tracks and/or remixes so we can our lives to something a wee more creative.

Listen to a preview of this mess below.

Study Says Minimum Wage Hike Could Reduce Poverty For Gay Couples

A new study focusing on raising the minimum wage says that hiking the federal wage to $10.10 an hour would reduce the poverty rate for gay male couples by 30 percent, and lesbian couples by 25 percent. The study, conducted by the Williams Institute, states at last 20,000 people in same-sex couples would be "lifted out of poverty" under the higher minimum wage.

A hike in the minimum would have particularly strong impact on our community; the study says black gay couples, gay couples with kids--who are often black, FYI-- as well as gay people with disabilities, young gays and lesbians ages 18-24, those without a high school diploma or gay couples living in rural areas would benefit the most.

Previous studies have indicate LGBT people in the U.S. have an average poverty rate of 15 percent, which would translate to about 1.3 million or more living in poverty.

Read the full article and study HERE.

WATCH: Pharrell Williams Talks Gender and Marriage Equality On 'Ellen'

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Random Jam: Michael Jackson "Rock With You (Frankie Knuckles Remix)"

This track is beautiful, but listening to it is bittersweet, not only because it's a reminder MJ is gone, but since I only discovered it after learning about Frankie Knuckles', a.k.a. The Godfather of House, recent death. Nevertheless, ride the boogie and share the beat of love.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Throwing Boy Pussy: Ratchetness and Respectability In Black Gay Men

Chile....if you haven't been up on thangs, then get it ready, get it ready, get it ready baby! For the last week, give or take a day, "Throw That Boy Pussy," the first single from rapper Fly Young Red's "Pretty Boy Realness Mixtape," has had the Internet goin' nuts, not only because of its subject matter, but because of the non-stop parade of jiggling male backside.

Pull up the clip on Youtube and you'll be greeted by a litany of related reaction videos; it even became a hot topic on the Black Atheists page I frequently peruse on Facebook. Unfortunately, homophobia reared its ugly head in the comments section in both forums, the former moreso. Of course, many of the same idiots who are spewing hate and ignorance likely have zero problem with million or so other videos by straight rappers that feature the same visuals with one exception: women are making clap instead of men.

For better or worse, all those bouncing booty butt cheeks are the reason why the song has gotten so much attention. What do I think of the whole brouhaha? Honestly, I'm a little conflicted. Not about "Throw That Boy Pussy's" musical merits mind you; the track is no different than 90 to 95 percent of the other twerk-it-pop-it-dip-it-drop-it-wear-your-backbone-down-to-nub--don't-stop-it booty rap blaring from a speaker at your local hole in the wall, while the video is barely a notch or two above the skin-fests that used to air on BET Uncut. However, with all the buzz it's generating, it's bound to have an impact on people's perception of us as black gay men.

Part of me thinks "Yes. Spit that shit. Rap about busting asses out and eating it up like M&M's. Throw that shit in their face!" Meanwhile, the other, less ratchet side of me thinks "Ugh, people are gonna watch this mess and think that's ALL that we are." I've seen this point of view echoed  by other black gay men on the aforementioned Facebook forum, and while I agree in principle, I can't fully co-sign.

I'm not a big believer in respectability politics. Yes, we as individuals need to make good decisions and be accountable for ourselves, the choices we make, and the things we put out into the world. However, if someone has it in their heart to hate us simply because we are LGBT or black (or both), it doesn't matter if we're as "hood" as Fly Young Red or as accomplished as Keith Boykin. It does not matter how butch we act or how degrees we earn, how many "know what I'm sayins" or "sup's" we drop into conversation, or how many times we pitch and don't catch, get dome and don't give dome: homophobes are gonna be homophobes.

Instead of worrying about how this will make us look to straight folks, fretting over whether this the "right" kind of gayness, the better course of action is creating more images of ourselves--writing our own stories, making our own music, shooting our own movies, or simply coming out to those we care about--so that this image is only one of many. 'Cause like it, love it or eh it, "Throw That Boy Pussy," or other videos of its ilk aren't going away.

For every woman who thinks GIRLS is telling her life story or the Real Housewives franchise is just entertainment, there's another who thinks both are an embarrassment to womanhood and feminism. For every black person holding a funeral for the N word, there's another claiming to take ownership of a harmful word or uttering it like they have Tourette's.

Other groups have to deal with the ratchet and respectable, and like most things in life, rarely come to a solid consensus on which is which. Why should we be exempt?

Watch the video below.

Monday Man Candy

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mama Said Knock You Out

Head over to Butlerway.com to check out my latest Scandal recap, entitled (you guessed it) "Mama Said Knock You Out." Alas, while there weren't any appearances by a shirtless, lip-licking LL, there was plenty of drama to get tongue's a-wagging, not least of which was Mellie and Andrew being found out and the ensuing fallout:

"Oh Mellie. Mellie, Mellie, Mellie. When it comes to adultery, you ain’t bout that life. Say what you want about Liv and Fitz, but on the whole—minus that whole making out in front an Oval Office window business a few episodes back—they’re a helluva lot more discreet than giving blow jobs behind unlocked doors in the middle of the day. I know it’s been eons since you got some, but that’s no excuse for sloppiness. And trying to pull a Don Draper on Karen when she clearly saw you “at work” with Uncle Andrew? Girl get it together!"

"...This leads to Fitz and Mellie engaging in what may stand as one of their most devastating fights, because it comes so close to hitting at the core of what has laid waste to their marriage: Mellie’s rape. There’s Fitz, roaring about how he believed her when she said having a baby killed her sex drive—though considering the circumstances of her pregnancy, I’d bet there’s a lot of truth to that—how he berated himself for being a monster for cheating.  

He screams at her over and over again, asking what she gave up, and you see Mellie about to crack, about to blurt out a truth that could both devastate her husband and family yet start the process of healing them. But just as she’s on the verge of breaking Olivia walks in, and Mellie takes off to the next room. The two smooth things over enough to do an all-important TV interview, but until Mellie can bring herself to tell her husband just what she’s given up, these two will continue on the same miserable path they’ve been on."

Read the rest HERE.

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