Month: October 2009

Coconuts – Show Off Your Self Loathing With Sex Appeal

In addition to the homemade costumes discussed last week, check out this sexy illegal alien costume for our Coconuts. Nothing says that you’re disconnected to the issues affecting your race like a sexy, silvery sombrero.

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Oh, and just in case your self loathing eats away at your body the way it eats away at your soul, check out this costume, lovingly called “Anna Rexia.”

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Of Color Students Clearly Skipping Class

Six African American students at Washington University clearly did not review the take-home materials before trying to get into a bar in Chicago.

Bouncers kept these students out of the club because they thought their pants were too baggy. Later that evening, black students switched pants with white students and the white students were let in no problem. 

Obviously, this is upsetting. These black students are in college, a private college at that–a great start toward Oreodom. 

But then they got lazy.

Baggy pants? Traveling en masse with other of colors? Trying to prove racial discrimination?  Look, hipster jeans may not be comfortable, but they make things easier for everyone else. 

The upside to this story, the disparaged upperclassmen are retaining attorneys. I’ve seen enough episodes Boston Legal and Law and Order to know that the folks who can afford to do this tend to be the fairer folks.

Nice move, guys. The effort is much appreciated. Be sure to review this week’s material–and not just the Cliffs Notes. There will be a pop quiz soon.

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Tyler Perry in Question

diaryblackwoman6So, it’s been the general opinion of this blog, its readers and the movie viewership of America that Tyler Perry is the cheif anti-Oreo. What the spawn of satan will be to the end of days, TPear is to attempts to assimilate. 

The Oreo Experience wonders now if this is the case.

Hear me out. While Tyler appears to stand for all that TOE detests, there are some key elements about him that may indicate is is a sheep in wolf’s clothing and perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, an Oreo deep down inside.

For example, Tyler Perry:

  • Exhibits a poor view of black people. His movies and shows rely on trite sterotypes to find the funny. Is he writing this way because it’s what makes money, or because it’s what he believes? If it was purely about capitalism, surely some of his truth would have seeped out by now and he would have made something pleasant. Buttyler-perry-newswire-335a061207 the self-loathing evident in his product makes him a prime candidate for Oreodom. 
  • Enjoys exploiting people of color. At his current rate of production, TP puts out a movie and nearly a full run of  TV series a year. This means he has a slew of people working very hard so that he can make media junket appearances. Because he runs “black” shows, and because he chose to settle in Atlanta, most of his employees are of color. Notably, his writers, who Perry seemingly prevented from joining their union during their employ. Only relatively recently, and after millions in his own pockets did TP give in
  • Is intmidated by Spike Lee.  Thanks to blogger Belle Woods for reposting comments on Tyler Perry’s reaction to director Spike Lee. Apparently Spike called TP on the carpet for his portrayal of black people. Tyler fought back, claiming that Madea is really a subversive way of instilling value in the viewers. Now, while a true Oreo would invite Spike over for scones and conversation, a self loather would take the same emotional stance as the fairer folks and tuck tail a bit when Lee speaks. 

The jury is still definitely out. But I’m keeping my eye on him. Maybe he’ll surprise me.

Or maybe we’ll get a new summer blockbuster: Madea Does Dallas.

Word of the Week – Blanchetourage

Blanche-tourage  (blahnch-too-rahzh): The necessary group of white people an Oreo surrounds her/himself with to maintain culture, perspective and quiche recipes.

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Want moar definitions? Click here to learn how to tell if your Oreola is showing, how to get away with a White Lie and how to avoid ending up on the Blacklist.

 

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Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Don’t Let Yourself be Out Oreo-ed

001PhotoFinishOreos can be a competitive bunch. And I don’t just mean the melees that can occur during a properly costumed joust reenactment. Take for instance, my experience at a David Biale reading this week. It was a night of Jewish themed literature and comedy, produced and hosted by a friend of mine.

Now, I know that I’ve mentioned that it’s dangerous for Oreos to associate with other minorities. It’s true. When blacks and blacks or blacks and browns spend time together, it makes them look like they need each other’s company–they’re a stone’s throw away from being a gang.

But when your minority of choice can often pass for white, you’re golden. I mean look at thiscov_mandel_mo_032108 guy. He was one of the opening acts. You’d be proud to bring him home to an Oreo Mom.

Also, bonus points goes to hanging with a group that whose culture has been lifted and trended appropriately. Who doesn’t remember the Kaballah Kraze. And pronouncing foods like “challah” is just enough to make the powers that be feel worldly, but safe. 

So with a photo of my Sukkoth hut in hand, I  took a seat in the front row, center.

The night alternated between comics and literati and each comic made mention of the “lone” black person in the room…a guy sitting about three rows away from me.

I was beyond frustrated. I did not take an unnecessary and unaffordable trip to J. Crew and strategically place myself in my seat to be passed over.

Now, perhaps, I was so convincing in my Oreo state, that I passed for one of them. Or perhaps, Other Oreo could be seen better from the stage. Whatever the reason for his getting my attention, it was game time! 

You see, the first Oreo to be noticed will be considered by the crowd to be the real thing. By the time a second one of us is spotted, the novelty will have worn off and we’ll be relegated to being seen as just another black person.  

So, I kicked my game into high gear and the fourth comic gave me the credit I deserved. He turned his attention to me and made light hearted jokes at my expense while the crowd laughed comfortably. 

At the end of the night, Other Oreo introduced himself to me. A risky move. But one I appreciated as I knew he was congratulating me on a game well played.

What did I do to win my rightful attention? A combination of the steps listed below. Incorporate them into your next event and bask in the glow of the spotlight that will follow you around the room for the rest of the night.

1. Flip Your Hair. This one’s for the ladies. A simple shake of your (natch) freshly relaxed hair will waft the sweet smell of your mainstream shampoo and draw attention to your loose, catwalk ready waves. As discussed, silky hair is paramount to being an Oreo. Remind those in proximity that you have it.

ManWithWinningTrophy2. Order an Old Fashioned. Have the hostess bring you a drink that is a) out of character and b) out of a movie that was made in a simpler time–like the 1950s. It’ll make everyone nostalgic. And they’ll appreciate you providing them with such warm memories. 

3. Refer to the Michael Richards incident as “no big deal.” The event took place the Laugh Factory, the site of Michael Richards’ apparent breakdown where he called two hecklers of color the n-word…over and over again. I believe he event threatened to hang them. And they say comics are bitter and sad on the inside.

Chances are, something bad happened in the name of race at the actual location where you were or near where you were. During an intermission casually slip something into conversation like “I’m not saying Medgar Evers wasn’t important, I just wonder if he needs a wikipedia entry.”

This will let people know that you aren’t all that connected to your “people” and it lets them off the hook for wondering the same things.

4. Mention Your Celebrity Crush. Everyone has their one free Hollywood F. When a break inhugh_grant the entertainment comes,  let it slip that your is  Sarah Silverman, Laura Linney or Catherine Keener if you’re a guy and if you’re a girl, then mention Hugh Grant (hands off, though, he’s totally mine), Gordon Ramsay or Shia LaBeouf. 

5. Ask for a mint to get rid of an offensive taste. But choose carefully. Make sure that pre-show, you enjoyed an amuse bouche of a quiche lorraine, eggs benedict or Belgian endive with duck and apricot salad.

Try those Hail Marys sees if your opponent doesn’t fold. Fight the good fight, comrades, victory can be yours!

Halloreoween Time

With Halloween just a few days away, it’s time for all good Oreos to decide what their costume will be. Here are some suggestions to make you a hit at your Halloween Party.

1999_sally_hemingsSexy Sally Hemings: For those of you not up on your slave rape history, Sally Hemmings was the alleged secret, passionate lover of President Thomas Jefferson. In truth, Jefferson told Hemings that he would free her children after she died if she agreed to subject herself to him for the rest of her life.

Good things the folks at USA didn’t put those icky details into the miniseries they dreamed up. That would have made everyone super uncomfortable. Sport some rags and liquid-latex-created whip marks for good measure and folks will enjoy that you can laugh at history’s little gaffes. 

Plus, you can use costume shackles for some after party fun!

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Sexy NASCAR fan. Show your support for the south with something taudry that toasts something that thousands of people enjoy. Some Daisy Dukes,blonde wig and stars and bars shirt should do it for the ladies. Gents, try some overalls, inexpensive beer and your Sons of Confederate Veterans card.

 

queen_mum_wavesSexy Whitcon. Any number of white icons are available for you to dress up as. Choose someone who evokes nothing but a feeling that they belong to the majority and you’ll be a hit. People will appreciate that you love Marilyn Monroe, The Queen Mum or any John Hughes character as much as they do.

This will cause them to look way past your melanin indulgence and talk to you about how great the 50s were, how fantastic England is or how much teen angst comes with being slightly privileged. You will be loved for allowing this emotional vetting to occur.

Any of these characters.

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imagesSo that people can tongue in cheek call you a spook, coon or Ace of Spades. They can truthfully say it’s all in good fun, and it’s all for a cause. C’mon, it’s just one night. You can take it.

Lost in Translation

Hindsight is always 20/20 and I’ve come to realize that for the last week, my coworker has been seeing me in quite the wrong light.

Forget Medea and Jason, this was a Greek tragedy!

Forget Medea and Jason, this was a Greek tragedy!

When I told her what I was going to see after work last Thursday, her eyes got gleefully big and told me that I would have a blast!

I appreciated the well wishes, but I was surprised. This is a coworker who every weekend, tells stories of embraces with strangers at trendy bars, henna tattoos and occasionally dred-locking her blonde hair. To see her be impressed with my tickets to Medea was a pleasant surprise.

Monday morning, she made clear to me what she meant.

“Did you love it,” she squealed as she burst into my office. “She’s so funny…”What’cha’ll gone do? what’cha’ll gone do? Y’all best know dat ‘ho.’ I could imitate her all day!”

Apparently, my coworker did not notice the important difference between the names “Medea,” the enchanting daughter of King Aeëtes, granddaughter of sun god Helios and wife to hero Jason, whom she helped through his trials as he fought to claim the golden fleece. And “Madea,” a woman who is really Tyler Perry in drag and who delights in being sassy, protecting her offspring through colorful language and generally making life harder for black people.

I’m not sure what about my Queen Elizabeth mousepad or the framed degree from Bryn Mawr on my wall that led her to believe that I would poison my eyes with such a thing, but I’m worried that my identity is not being made clear. Suffice to say I’m hoping to keep my office door closed, and play my Chopin a little more loudly through it.

PS. In case you’re wondering if the Medea retrospective featuring the various incarnations of her story as told by Francesco Cavalli, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Saverio Mercandante, Darius Milhaud and progressive Dutch rock band Kayak was worth the $100+ ticket. It was indeed.