Month: January 2011

3 Reasons I Love Reality TV

The black friend I'm not embarassed to have.

As a professional writer, people are often shocked that I watch as much reality TV as I do. When I come home from work, I’m more interested in checking in with the Real Housewives than I am with the Desperate Housewives and I’d often rather watch Dirty Jobs than watch scripted lawyers or doctors do their jobs (though I’m really warming up to Fairly Legal right now!! And Archer is a new favorite, too!)

And when I started thinking about it, it makes perfect sense! Here’s why:

1. It reminds me of why I’m an Oreo. Let’s be honest, black folks rarely look good on reality TV. From back in the day with angry Kevin on MTV’s first Real World, crazy Omarosa on the premiere season of The Apprentice, anyone on Flavor of STDs Love or the dearth of people of color on higher end reality shows where people are actually showcasing actual talents (apart from Idol, I suppose), reality TV reminds an Oreo why it sucks to be of color and why we must escape it.

2. My brain gets to shut off. Because I often write for my living, it’s hard for me to watch scripted shows without analyzing how they’re doing what they’re doing. I often can’t just wait patiently to find out what crazy hijinks Michael Scott is up to without guessing how they’re going to quietly set up the second act turn.

3. Free education! I actually learn stuff! Here are some of my fave shows and what I tend to glean from them.

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – my current dirtiest pleasure. First, it definitely satisfies the Oreo element as the only black person I’ve seen so far is the limo driver. Second, these self-dubbed “alpha women” must be doing something right, right? Apparently, one of those things is eye contact. While I look away several times during an average conversation so as not to appear too aggressive, these ladies go for it and stare directly into the pupils of their conversation partner with no breaks and often without blinking. Maybe that’s how they’ve risen to the ranks they have. What do you think? Is it the botox or a true conversation tactic?

Hell’s Kitchen – First, I love me some Gordon Ramsay. British, handsome, a rogue with a heart of gold! Second, this show has given me new fun Oreo-tastic things to say. Like when I have dinner parties, I have stopped saying that “dinner’s ready.” Instead, I say that “dinner has been plated,” and add in other fun words from the show like like “pancetta,” “creme fraiche” and “donkey*#&(*))(#$&”

Intervention – First, this is a real downer of a show, but can actually teach a lot about effective and efficient communication–something I’m kind of a geek for. Second, this might be the only show that doesn’t fit my first rule for liking reality TV. Because even though this show is about drug addicts who have often turned to lives of crime and poverty to feed their habits–it rarely, if ever, features black people.

How do you feel about reality TV? Fave shows? Hated shows? Let us know in the comments!

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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!

*Shameless Oreo Plug. 1) SmartyPig is a totally cool $-savings tool! I highly recommend it. b) So I have the opportunity to meet with an actor who I love love love in the UK this summer. Trying to make it a successful working holiday and take some other Brit talent out for a pint with the hope of writing for them one day. Should anyone feel inclined to help an Oreo purchase one of those pints, it would be totes appreciated. You can learn more about my trip, and SmartyPig at this link.

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It Hurts So Good, II

So after my poplock debut this weekend, I had to get back to my Oreo ways and content myself with some anglo-tastic stuff post haste!

To erase any unintended ethnic affect, on Sunday, I  bought some crossstitching, picked up my new guitar to learn some Neutral Milk Hotel and made a Quiche.

Hot.

And between the needlework and my first time playing the guitar, my fingers are killing me!!!  Seriously, I washed my hands this morning and it burned! How long does it take guitar callouses to form?

But good things will come from that pain. And it got me out of thinking of other things that were painful in just the right ways.

Relaxer It goes without saying that a relaxer is on this list. Sure, the salve that’s spread on my scalp once a month is expensive and burns like a thousand angry suns. But for that pain, I get pretty straight hair to whip back and forth.

Dressage Training – Making a 1400-pound horse dance by controlling it with the muscles at the top of your inner thigh makes it nearly impossible to walk the next day. But if you do well enough and you get to competition, you get to wear such pretty hats!!

He's whipping his hair back and forth, too!

Spin ClassGoing spinning immediate after dressage is especially painful…but bathing suit season is only 6 months away. Ladies…am I right!

Blue Valentine – This movie is one of the best I’ve seen. Painful to watch (especially with the $14 Arclight ticket!!) but Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are also beautiful, urgent, truthful and memorable.

Also hot.

That one break up – We all have one. The one that was so spectacularly awful that we were pretty sure we’d never be able to put ourselves back together. But not only did we get back together, all that scar tissue fused strong. Stronger than it was before. We learned more than we could have imagined and made promises to ourselves that this time, we intend on keeping.

*ahem* Now back to your regularly scheduled snark.

Shots – Burning and painful all the way down. But often delicious and always socially freeing! F u, inhibitions! Ladies…am I right?! 🙂

What do you do that’s painful but good for you? Let us know in the comments!!

And check out this vlog that details my journey toward poplock domination.

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

Envelopes, Red Carpets and Self-Loathing, Oh My!

Few things bring out the Oreo in me like Hollywood’s award season! Looking out over the crowds, you see who the image makers are, who the folks are who are getting their stories told and getting to tell stories on the regular.

And who are they? Here’s a hint: They’re not RBP. And that’s a big reason why I work so hard not to be one!

Just look at these pictures from Variety, Hollywood’s most influential daily trade.


But…just so we of colors didn’t feel left out, Variety did include this photo on page 1 today:

Yup, just when you thought we had seen the last of the RBP dude in a dress movies, they’re back!

Did you watch the Golden Globes? What did you think? What are your thoughts on the Awards Season? Let us know in the comments!

Oreos A – Z: A is for Afro

We all know the basic concept of the Oreo – someone who’s black on the outside, but white on the inside.  What you may not know is that there really are a lot of intricacies involved in becoming, being and living a fulfilling life as an Oreo. The bi-weekly feature, “Oreos A – Z” will help keep you up to date and on your best Oreo behaviour.

A is for Afro

A is for Afro
Which an Oreo never wears
because how would that look
At this year’s Dickens Fair?!

The Afro is something NEVER to be sported by an Oreo.

If you are of color, an afro symbolizes that you are way too comfortable with your race and that you might be one of those people who also talks about how Cleopatra was really black, how Kwanzaa is legit and how it’s the disparity between the health and wealth of the races indicates that there might be some sort of systemic problem still alive and well in the good old US of A….or it says that you’re too poor to afford a relaxer!

Either way….Awkward!

If you’re white and sport an Afro, it symbolizes that you’re delightfully carefree and/or ironic. You probably drink expensive coffees and shop at stores meant to look like thrift store. How fun!

Suitable hair styles for Oreos include: the simple relaxer, a pixie cut or covered with a bonnet as you are probably on your way to an historic festival, Steampunk convention or Europe in the winter.

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For a run-down of the necessarily painful Oreo hair care procedures, click here!

For why we endure it in the first place, click here!

Dog Tags

That bone- or heart-shaped piece of metal hanging from your pet’s collar says a lot about you.  Watch this instructional video to make sure that your pet’s name doesn’t besmirch your good Oreo name!

*uck Finn – 4 Reasons Why The N Word Should Stay In

They're not okay with the n-word, but are okay with kids running away, stealing stuff and smoking. Got it!

You remember Huck Finn, right? The book about a boy and his slave friend who run away and learn about each other. Oh yeah, and they say the n-word a bunch. You know, because it was set in the American South, pre-Civil War and that’s kinda what people did.

But a new edition of the book is coming out and the publishers of the book will replace the ethnic slur with the word “slave.”  You know, to make the book less offensive. Because owning slaves is totally okay as long as you call them nice names…or something like that. It’s hard to be clear on exactly what the publisher’s goal is, but they say it’s not about PC-tastic censorship.

The effort is spearheaded by Twain expert Alan Gribben, who says his PC-ified version is not an attempt to neuter the classic but rather to update it. “Race matters in these books,” Gribben told [Publisher’s Weekly]. “It’s a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.”

 

Now, I get it, the word makes some people uncomfy**.

Not her, though.

But that doesn’t mean we should just strike it from the record completely.

Here are four reasons I think Huck Finn should stay just the way it is.

1. More Oreos! A selfish reason for sure, but nothing made me want to escape my skin quite like sitting in a classroom with my peers reading these books aloud. Sure, I hated the stares I got when someone mentioned Twain, or anything to do with Civil Rights, Martin Luther King or firehoses, but it put me on a path toward just the right amount of self loathing to take up some hobbies more interesting than gospel singing or dominoes.

2. Equal Opportunity Offense. There’s something in pretty much every book that’s going to offend most anybody. Should we take out references to sex or the church in The Scarlett Letter lest we offend people who pray or put out (or, like myself…both. :)? Should we take out half the words in anything written by Dickens because it’s just so g*dammed long and that is offensive in and of itself? Should we stop the production of Tyler Perry movies because they’re just offensive to everyone?  Nah. A little thicker skin is good for everyone.

3. Keep the word somewhat safe. If we remove the n-word from classic works of literature, the only people dealing with it are plucky talk show hosts like Dr. Laura and the hip hop and rap industry. I don’t know about you, but I totally trust one of the greatest American writers of all time over the the guy who wrote the song “Bitches Aint Shit.”

4. And seriously…yes, the n-word is pretty damn offensive. But if we lose sight of how offensive it is and the damage that it caused and causes, then we run the risk of perpetuating those offenses and creating them anew.

5. Too Much Change! If we start changing the words in Huck Finn, then it’s only a matter of time before someone changes the libretto to Big River, the Broadway musical written about that story. And I already have the current version commited to memory. Not ready to re-learn all that music! Seriously, listen to these harmonies. That’s a lot of work!

What do you think? Let us know!

The Oreo Experience ft. Rhianna (VIDEO)

So I went karaokeing last week and really did try to sing something normal…but then defaulted to showtunes, natch. Off my friends’ requests I have tried to get some regular songs in my repetoir…but they’re confusing. Like is “What’s My Name?” (Rhianna ft. Drake) as misogynistic as I first thought it was, or is it a sneaky feminist rant that Erica Jong would be proud of?

Lemme know what you think!