Month: November 2010

Oreofail – John Hughes (it’s not too soon for this, right?)

 

No, sir, you are not cute or charming...but do you wanna get a coffee or something?

I tried, I really did, but I finally came to my decision: conclusion that I do not like John Hughes movies.

 

While this upsets my friends who so fondly organize Pretty in Pink parties, it upsets me even more because there is little in the film canon that is as waspy as a John Hughes flick.

Lest you think I came to this decision too hastily, I have tried several movies. There was “She’s Having a Baby”  which should be named “She’s Having a Baby…in the last 5 minutes of this snoozefest, don’t even bother looking for the baby in the first 180 minutes of this thing or you will be sorely disappointed.”  I also managed to get through..ugh…The Breakfast Club and…wait for it, yes I don’t like this one, either. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Why don’t I like FB? Because he’s an arrogant little shit…though if you look at my dating life, it seems to indicate that I really like arrogant little shits.

But I digress…I know people are supposed to like these movies. But every plot could be summed up with this tagline:

The Breakfast Club:

“My perfectly acceptable life could be way better if I made some very minor changes, but that’s too much work and not as sexy as f*cknig brooooooooding about it.” ***

(** Judd Nelson, you’re excused from this. Kevin Bacon, you are not!)

And, yes, I do get that not all of the film and TV that I loved in my childhood holds up today. For example:

  • The Neverending Story. This movie will always be beloved to me, but after watching it as an adult, I realized…it’s not very good. (The “sadness of the swamp,” really Atreyu? And WTF does she yell at the end? And if there’s nothing left of the world, WTF are they standing on ?!?!) But I love it. Because it was dear to me when I watched it.
  • Boy Meets World. Yes, it’s also full of broody teens, too, not unlike a John Hughes movie…but, but, but Sean was so dreamy!!…and he dated an Oreo! How could I not love it??
  • Rent. When I saw this play at 16, I thought “F yeah! How dare those fascists make you pay rent!!” As a 20-something, I watched it and thought “Hmm, you know, you could get a job and write and paint at night if you’re having a hard time making the bills.”

So I get why people like the JH flicks…if I had seen them for the first time(s) when I was a teen and watching Brendan Frazier’s School Daze in back to back screenings, and not a few months ago when I’m well-past the broodings, I probably would have loved them, too.

 

Do you like John Hughes? Anything you can suggest I watch that might change my mind? Or any childhood faves that only stand your personal test of time and don’t actually hold up?

 

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This Is Why We Can’t Go To Nice Places!

The rope is there for a reason.

Because in a group, black people are scary!

Look, Ivy League alum who are upset that your were turned away from a club even though you weren’t doing anything wrong, we’ve been over this. One of us in a crowd is delightful, maybe even amusing. We provide the image of diversity in a neighborhood with declining property values.

But standing in line…outdoors…where people can see you…that’s just threatening. Even if you are a bunch of Harvard and Yale law students. Yes, the argyle and the discussion of this year’s lacrosse teams is a start, but you have to look at the whole picture.

Here’s what happened: A group of of-color Ivy Leaguers with a phenomenally strict guest list were waiting on line to get into a new club.

The owners of the club, seeing the line, believed it to be attracting “local gang bangers” and shut the party down. Or maybe they just thought the line would attract local gang bangers, because according to one of the event’s organizers, the club management said both.

In a letter to the party-attendees, one of the organizers explained his mistake:

At approximately 10:30PM club management called the owner to say that they saw individuals on line whom they recognized as “local gang bangers” (their words not mine). In response to this, the club owner directed the bouncers to only let individuals with a Harvard or Yale ID in to the club. At this point Kwame and I argued that no alumnus would have his or her expired college ID with them and reiterated that the reason we did the party on a pre-sold basis with strict admittance based solely on the guest list was to guarantee that the only attendees were Harvard and Yale alumni, grad students and their close friends and to ensure that no “bad seeds” could contaminate our party. However, given that this was the club’s opening weekend, the owner was particularly sensitive to anything going wrong.

At approximately 10:45, after we won the argument concerning the amazing quality of our crowd and the strictness of our guest list, management began letting people in but then became worried that as our crowd waited in line it could attract the attention of “local gang bangers” passing by who would try to gain entrance to our party. Furthermore, they feared that if these individuals were turned away for not being on the guest list they could hypothetically cause problems with the bouncers outside of the club and draw negative attention to the establishment. Despite the fact that our Friday night party went off without a hitch and had no problems when we turned people away from the door for not being on our list, management decided to shut the party down as to avoid the hypothetical chance of attracting the “wrong crowd” (again their words not mine). In spite of our attempts to reason with them, we were left in a position where despite agreeing with our logic, the decision had been made and we were left powerless

Well, the management here really be blamed? There are very simple rules for being a functioning Oreo and one of them is that we don’t congregate en masse. Check the FAQ here if you have any questions…or check this link to see which people might be more excited to see you.
And make sure you sign the sign up sheet for next month’s Caroling Fest so we know if there’s still room.
Wouldn’t want to upset anyone.
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Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

TV Show Fades to Black, then Fades

When JJ Abram’s hour-long drama, “Sexy Sexy Black People” Undercovers showed up in the TV listings, I was super worried. A show with Oreo-esque leads might lead to other TV shows to feature layered characters of color and then how would I stand out??

But my fears were allayed with NBC announced they were canceling it.

Writing for The Root, Marcus Vanderberg mentions that Undercovers had a lot of challenges–including untested acting talent, weak scripts and a poor time slot.

Another problem:

Black viewers, who many might have guessed would rally behind the show, never embraced it. Undercovers only cracked the top 10 on Target Market News‘ list of the top 25 broadcast shows in black households twice, and that was during its first two weeks on air. On Nov. 4, the night before the show was officially canceled, Undercovers finished 16th in black households behind Hawaii Five-0 and The Mentalist, both of which lack black lead characters.

Black people didn’t want to watch a show with untested acting talent, weak scripts and a poor time slot. So now, networks are feeling skittish again about casting leads of color in a show.

The fact that black leads are such a gamble on network TV these days highlights the noticeable shift in programming during the last 25 years….

…The UPN and the WB, which is now the CW Network, copied the Fox blueprint (think Girlfriends) before they all abandoned most of their black programming in order to appeal to a more mainstream audience. And now it seems as if all the inroads of the past few decades have been for nothing…

I took a look at other shows that have been canceled or threatened with cancellation this year and noticed a disturbing trend:

18 To Life: Kids Get Married on a Dare

100 Questions: A girl and her friends navigate life in NYC - canceled after 6 eps

As The World Turns: Stodgy Soaps Suddenly Seems Sexy

Man with huge hands gives advice - canceled after 2 eps

The Bridge: Cop does cop things.- canceled after 3 eps

Gravity: Suicide survivors make jokes - canceled after 10 eps

Huge: Nikki Blonsky goes to camp

Lone Star: A con man has a conscious...and also a lot of sex. - canceled after 2 eps.

My Generation: Angst and agnst with a dollop of angst. - canceled after 2 eps

Outlaw: Jimmy Smits knows justice; but not TV audiences - canceled after four eps.

Notice anything about most of the people in these shows?

They’re actors! Apparently, actor-led TV shows have a really hard time sticking. I hope the networks don’t feel skittish about gambling on having actors in their shows after this disappointing season.

Crossing my fingers for you, actors. You’ll figure it out.

And if you do wanna see some of colors leading a show…there’s always the still-climbing-in-the-ratings Real Housewives of Atlanta where next week, Phaedra and Apollo will have a baby…or won’t they???

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For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Trailer Talk

Not sure what movies to check out this weekend? Well, you’re gonna want to check out the trailers and find something that’s

Can you buy it by the cord instead of just the yard?

inspiring, well-crafted and choc-o-block full of shots that reinforce your beliefs…especially the ones about how crappy it is to be black…if you’re even called upon to appear at all.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – The beginning of the end of Harry’s journey

Things non-colors do in this movie: Speak ominously, stare longingly, remember their parents, pose a wicked threat, sit on a council, fill the streets of England, attend parties, use their now powerful and precise magic skills, speak out of turn,  ride a Pegasus, stake their claims.

Things of colors do in this movie: Do not appear.

Hmmm, I guess if you want to play Quiddich and have cool powers, the first thing you need to do is to make that nasty pigment problem disappear.

The Next Three Days: Russel Crowe inflicts pain

Things non-colors do in this movie: have adorable moments with their sons, look beautiful first thing in the morning,start a raid, raise suspicion, state the theme, provide expertise, act hapless with a gun, make a daring escape, defy the odds.

Things of colors do in the movie: Arrest the heroine, stand in the background.

I want to do way more than beat up on the person we like…and fade into the distance like I did at my senior prom (and junior prom and sophomore homecoming…)

And for you limited-release film fans, there’s:

Made in Dagenham – Would be a Rom Com if it Were “Maid in Dagenham”

Things non-colors do in this movie: Speak snappily, be snarky to the opposite sex, sew, create a leader, be a leader, serve orange juice to their families, use sex to make a point, be the prime minister, have a dog, put their families in danger, ride bikes, win over their husbands, put their feet down, give fantastic soundbites.

Things of-colors do in this movie: N/A

White Material: How Could I Walk Away from This Title??

Things non-colors do in this movie: dance like nobody’s watching, speak French, warn of impending doom, insist on perfection, save a man from being speared to death, have awesome tattoos, need to rescue their son,

Things of-colors do in this movie: carry rifles, put a rifle in a woman’s face and demand money, aim spears at a sleeping man, hide in shadows, smell a white lady’s hair, start some sort of rioting,

Some people will say something along the lines of: “Of course there aren’t any black people in these movies. It’s not realistic to drop some of colors in the middle of Hogwarts or Irishy NYC neighborhoods or in 1968.” And I guess that makes sense. Flying horses, wizard boys and women who look 100% amazing 100% of the time are all way more realistic than an of color of note. These are movies after all, not total make believe.

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

Aunt Jemima IS Sweet; Butterworth is Shunned

Not only does she make breakfast treats even more delicious, she totally reminds me why I work so hard to be an Oreo!

Wow  if that’s what RBP look like, no thank you! And if that caption (which read: “Aunt Jemima, you is so sweet”)  is how they talk…ugh! not for me!!

A big thanks to Tennessee Republican Terri Lynn Weaver for posting this pic on her facebook page shortly after Halloween of her (on the right) posing with her pastor.

Also, thanks to the folks at Sociological Images where I found this video of coverage of the photo. Click the link for the video.

There are so many things to love about that video and this story that I don’t even know where to start. So many good tips and reminders for Oreos! Here’s some of what I learned from this clip.

1. When lawmakers and men of God decide together that dressing up in blackface is okay, how can you possibly argue with that?

2. The use of the phrase “some of my best friends are black”–still a totally valid argument. In the video, Weaver asserts that “she is the least racist person because SOMBFAB.”

3. When doing a story about a contentious race issue, be sure to put your of color reporters on it and have only a passing quote from someone who’s a non-color so that there’s no doubt that this story is pretty much just for black folks and doesn’t affect anyone, except maybe the poor lawmaker who clearly doesn’t understand that facebook is a wildly public space accessible by anyone with a computer or cell phone.

I wonder if we can get that Aunt Jemima get up in a sexy version for the ladies!

I also wonder what other costumes Pastor Jemima threw out in favor of the one he picked. I mean, if he were going for syrup ladies, he could have done Ms. Butterworth and not had to spend so much money on shoe polish.

 

For more fun with facebook, check out this skin whitening app, this invitation to a “Compton Cookout,” and this charming message I got in my inbox.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trailer Talk

Movies always help remind Oreos why we’re trying to hard to escape our ethnicity. Whether it’s the accoladed The Blind Side reminding us that benevolent white folks could save us

If anyone can turn things around, it's you RM!

from the plight suffered by the ladies in Precious and For Colored Girls or the omission of of colors from regular movies with playful plots, seeing as many movies as possible is crucial for an Oreo’s education because they often reinforce why we try so hard not to be so black.

Here’s some of what’s playing this weekend and, based on their trailers, some Oreo advice on what to see.

Morning Glory: Rachel McAdams is a plucky TV producer who saves the day.

What White People Do In This Movie: show concern for their daughter, posses an optimistic spirit, run hard in heels, star in morning news magazines, hire people, go a little bit mad, hold silly beliefs, work as technical directors, eat at diners, have sex, hold on against the odds, put people in their places, own Macs, have pain from childhood, kiss a frog–a real frog, not a metaphoric frogI.

What Black People Do In This Movie: rap, dry hump a co-host while wearing a sumo outfit…you know, regular black people things.

Skyline: Aliens are assholes.

What White People Do In This Movie: Be famous newscasters, remind us that genocide sucks,drink a lot, sleep with their lovers, take photographs, be unnecessarily hot during a disaster, have badass tatts, ignore warnings.

What Black People Do In This Movie: Black guy from Scrubs might save the day?? He’s holding a gun…of course he might just be uppity, we don’t know yet.

This movie does iterate one important Oreo rule. Black guy from Scrubs seems to be the one of color in his circle of friends. So good for him, and them, for keeping the ratios right.

Unstoppable: Chris Pine is hot and I was an extra in a movie with him, unfortunately, he didn’t take off his shirt in that one. Also, Denzel might have escaped his ethnicity.

What White People Do In This Movie: Be the new guy, throw down some sass, have a wife and kids, teach children, have a horse, take part in saving the day.

What Black People Do In This Movie: Be the old guy, appreciate sass, have two daughters, discover the disaster,take part in saving the day…

WTF, Tony Scott? This movie seems like characters were written as characters and not caricatures. Casting seems to have been based on a balance of chemisty and box office draw. That’s not how youmake a movie. Didn’t you see Morning Glory?

Due Date – Okay, I finally kind of like Zach Gailfianakis. Also, RDJ…marry me.

What White People Do In This Movie: regret family issues, ask too many questions, laugh inappropriately, have a dog, have a baby, get trigger happy,

What Black People Do In This Movie: look irritated, do a spit take, help RDJ hurt his traveling companion.

For Colored Girls – F*ck you, Tyler Perry

What White People Do In This Movie: Buy tickets for other movies.

What Black People Do In This Movie: Speak poetically, practice scary religions, live in scary neighborhoods, glare at their women, go on a date, cry in mirrors, cry in trashcans, cry in their apartments, cry in their condos, cry while standing, get preggers, cry in a hospital….Jesus, life sucks for these people!

Now, I do love Lorette Devine and Phylisha Rashad and would love to talk to them about their experiences…just not at the same time or in the same room. See Oreo rule discussed in the Skyline entry.

I actually won’t have time to see any of these movies this weekend, because I’ll be shooting my own piece of cinema–“White (on the inside) Christmas”–look for it in December!! And if you do check out any movies this weekend, let us know in the comments what you thought of ’em!

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For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!