Month: March 2011

Trying to Get Sassy…winning?? (VIDEO)

As much as I’m glad that I’m not an RBP, I do appreciate some of the ways they use language.

Of course, I must approve the use of verse much like the bard

…but I also get that being sassy just sounds super cool sometimes. Here’s my trying to sass it up a bit. Let me know what you think!

Do you have an accent? Do you like accents? Tell us about it in the comments!

Diary of a Mad Whitish Black Woman – Ash Wednesday

Dear Diary,

Definitely some pros and cons to Ash Wednesday as an Oreo. On one hand, few things makes me feel like an accomplished Oreo than sitting in an Anglican church during high mass Ash Wednesday services and staring at the lily (of the valley) white version of Christ showing us what perfection looks like.

On the other hand, ashes don’t show up as well on dark skin—thus everyone is reminded of the fact that you’re black in the first place.

Can we not get these in white or something? Maybe a powder blue?

Ah, well, I suppose the only way to correct this is with the right Lenten sacrifice like I did last year. And why not throw in giving up sugar to boot? (seriously, this is the first day in a year of working at my office that I haven’t had the dessert they have for us every day.)

And in a moment of non-snark, I’m gonna say that I’m glad I was there, even if the dark on dark was bad for my Oreo image.

Head’s up diary, shiz is ‘bout to get real….(that’s how black people say that, right?)

I used to make a bigger deal out of being religious than I do now, and frankly, I used to be better at being religious so that kind of makes sense. Folks who know me know that I like to swear and I like to drink and I like to have sex. So I may not come across as “religious” but I am…kind of. I’m equal parts full of faith and doubt and I look at the world with equal measures of cynicism and wonder.

But I do believe in God. And I like to go to mass. I figure that all the things I love about the world and about life—love, beauty, mystery, magic, emotion, potential, giraffes, meter, balance, fervor, possiblity—I figure that all those things have to come from somewhere and for me that somewhere is God. For others that somewhere is the Universe or Mother Earth or Krishna…I think I’m not really sure how that one works or…nothing. And that’s okay with me.

So there.

Seriously! Best. Animals. Ever!

I was raised superBaptist in an ultra conservative environment that claimed God was all about grace—that we didn’t have to do anything in particular to make God love us. Somehow, though, those same grace-loving congregants still had a lot of things you had to and couldn’t be. (liberal = bad; pledging your virginity to your parents = good — wtf??)

So that was confusing.

I’ve gone to mostly protestant churches since then. Floating into congregations when I was feeling guilty and directionless. And floating out again when the churches got too cliquey or too political—either direction. I love inclusion, I’m liberal as fuck, but I go to church for God stuff. Not politics stuff. If you wanna talk politics, meet me at the bar after mass, but for that hour, I just want to be reminded of the saints and of grace and of forgiveness and love and beauty.

My church growing up mocked High Church tradition. Catholics were basically pagans, they said. I mean, yeah, the superBaptists believe in Mary just like the Catholics do, but we sure as shit don’t pray to her. So it was made clear to me that while I may not always be superBaptist, I definitely was not to be a Catholic.

But…They didn’t say anything about being Episcopalian. You know, Catholic-lite. I’m a huge Anglo-phile, so the Anglican church made sense to me. I like cathedrals. Yes, they were phenomenal wastes of resources for oft-impoverished communities, but my goodness are they wonders of architecture.

And the Vicar of Dibley worked in one. How bad could they be?

And there are rules there. Which not everyone likes, but I relish. I came from a world where there were no rules. Where Mom would say one thing, then punish me for believing it. One day, I was the family’s enemy, the next day, I was a confidant—hear stories about parental sex life that no 12-year-old should hear. I was by turns a terror and a saint, the family treasure and the source of all of its problems. Things I was praised for one day were causes for punishment the next.  And that was unbearably difficult.

 

As such, I have a very hard time with grace. You mean, God just loves me? Without agenda? There’s nothing in particular that I have to… do to make sure I’m doing what He wants??

While many find this wondrous, I find it terrifying. My life is run by rules. I worry over every single thing that I say, wondering if I’ve hurt someone’s feelings irreparably. Am I being funny enough right now? Am I being too funny? Am I being nice enough? Or do I seem fake because I’m being too nice? When I hug a tall person, do I reach up to put both of my arms around their neck or do I hug them around their waist like I’m a child? Did they even want me to hug them in the first place? Does he like me? Does she like me? Do they like me? Should I have laughed more? Cried less? Kept a straighter face? Is it okay to talk about this? Can I ask about that?

And I become paralyzed in my relationships. Unable to move forward because no one gave me the g-d rule book.

And to say that there are no rules in life is false. That is something we say to shy people to hopefully get them to break out of their shells. But we know better. Every game has rules. Most of them very complicated rules. I mean, you You would think that curling was pretty straightforward. But no, I was listening to an NPR story about it and they wouldn’t shut up with the rules!  Even in the grace-loving church I grew up in, there were rules. If you raised your hands at the wrong time or prayed with the wrong version of King James English, you were totes talked about.

There are norms to which we are expected to conform. And to break those rules—to smell funny or to not like Star Wars or to be really into Prairie Home Companion—is to invite concern.

And so I take great comfort in going to mass. Because there are rules. Those rules are written out for you in the order of worship so you know what they. And those rules about about things I can handle. They don’t seem to care too much if you like to swear or like to drink or like to have sex. They just want your attention for this one lovely hour.

In the old, Gothic cathedral where I go to services, the organ music tells you that this is fucking serious. That you are in a special place so shut the fuck up and pay attention.  The crossing and kneeling and standing causes you to get out of your head and do what you’re told. And up there at the front of the church is a big ol’ Jesus pleased that you’re following directions.

Who doesn’t need a thumbs up every now and then.

I get that that’s stifling to some people. But for me, nothing is more comfortable. I do love God. And I want to be better at being…better. But I’m arrogant as fuck and praying is a humbling thing that is hard to do. Exhibiting the love that deities tell us to exhibit is really really challenging. It’s painful to be nice when thinking my former bestie who put the kabash on our friendship because she didn’t like my dating habits and hurt me as badly as any guy ever as. It’s devastating to talk to my ex-husband and not demand from him an explanation as to why he didn’t love me but married me anyway. My heart explodes whenever I get an email from my Mom that begs for support while ignoring the fact that she gave me so little. And it’s way awkward to pass homeless people and wonder if I’m being safe or an asshole for telling them I don’t have money when I totally do. Not a lot, but more than they have, so why be so fucking stingy with it.

It’s damn near impossible to remember to turn to the God who I think gave us stories and dreams and hope when I have a diva manager threatening my contract for only making 3 horribly sexist jokes in my latest spec instead of a few more. It’s hard to stop and pray after another interview that won’t bear any fruit. Hollywood isn’t always a meritocracy.

But for that hour that I’m in mass, I can make it work. For one little hour, I get it right. I say the right things. I move at the right time. I pray the right prayers. For one hour, I’m in a gorgeous building, hearing gorgeous music and smelling gorgeous incense that reminds me that I think that God deserves my best. For one hour, I can commit to being a person who forgives and who gives of herself as much as she truly wants to. For one hour, I’m not bitter and mad at my bestie, or my ex or my Mom. For one hour, I get it right, and I feel good about that.  Because I’m pretty sure I fuck it up every other hour of every other day.

And maybe, maybe, if I can make this one hour work, I can make one more hour work. And then an hour after that. Until eventually, the good hours outnumber the kinda shitty ones.

I look forward to that time.

And until that time, I can at least give goodness this much time. It may be only an hour, but it’s a start.

(And don’t worry. Tomorrow, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled snark.)

Black Friend Application

Black Friend Finder

A pal was glancing at my facebook photos and said, “wow, you really don’t have any black friends, do you?”

I got the feeling that he doubted the verisimilitude of my blog presence.

He was soundly corrected, but he did get me thinking. Maybe it is time I added another of color friend to join me around the wassail bowl this winter.

I was convinced this was the case this weekend when I shot a little short film that had a fairly large call for blacktors. It was actually kind of nice to reminisce about exactly which season of The Cosby Show had that weird-ass Calypso opening.

So, I need a new black friend. And thankfully, there’s an app for that.

An application that is.

Please pass this along to anyone you think might qualify. Or, if you’re of color, fill it out yourself. The winning friend and I will share Quiche recipes, swap Boxing Day memories and carpool to this year’s Dicken’s fair.

Bonus points goes to the referer of my new friend. If you refer a friend to me and s/he becomes the chosen one, you will receive a personalized anglo-tastic mix CD courtesy of yours truly!

The application is at the link below. Please email answers to oreo@theoreoexperience.com.

Good luck!

The link for the Black Friend Application is here for easy downloading and printing, or you can see the questions here:

 

The Oreo Experience Black Friend Application

 

 

Name:
Email:
Gate Code:

 Multiple Choice

 

1. Jack and Jill is

a)       a nursery rhyme
b)       an unfortunate name for twins
c)       potentially helpful, but should only be approached indirectly

 2)    It’s Sunday afternoon. Are you most likely to be:

a)       sipping cocktails at the yacht club
b)       standing on line for a J. Crew fire sale
c)       suiting up for an AKC training event
d)       slathering on the sunscreen—just in case

3)   Sex : Use Protection as Cornrows :

a)       Smile
b)       Dance
c)       Weep softly into your pillow

Short Answer

1. At what age and under what circumstances did you get your first relaxer?

 1A. Did that relaxer hurt: (circle one)

Exquisitely
So good
Hurt? I’m not tender-headed!

 2. Which HBCU makes you the most uncomfortable and why? (Bonus point will be award to your score if you do not know what HBCU stands for)

3. If your life had a soundtrack, which Broadway opening number would be yours and why?

4) Which character do you most relate to and why>

a)       Ashley
b)       India
c)       Rhett
d)       Scarlett

5) Have you ever cheated on the paper bag test? (If so, please describe method of cheating and any provide any tips).

6) And seriously, can you explain this?

Trailer Trashing

Fresh off the heels of the most prestigious of Hollywood award shows, the Oscars (this year, simply and dramatically dropping the “the” and going by “Oscar”), I’m excited

NPH can be my fairy godhottie any day. Yup, "fairy godhottie." I said it.

to start looking at this year’s movies and dreaming of all the things I could be…if I, you know weren’t so browny.

Movies are a great way to solidify your Oreo experience. The repeated images of certain types of people doing certain types of things really reminds us who we are and who we can…or probably cannot be.

So let’s see what’s opening this weekend!

The Adjustment Bureau – Matt Damon can’t follow simple directions.

Stuff White People Do In This Movie: Run for Senate, stare longingly, drop their accents, get flustered, live in New York, read books at coffee shops, take public transport, goof off in the street, enchant men, spoon, creep in people’s bedrooms, have really cool tech, control men’s fates, dance ballet, watch ballet, fall desperately in love,

Stuff Non-White People Do In this Movie: Well, there is one black guy in the trailer…he doesn’t speak and it looks like he’s gonna cut a bitch.

And seriously, New York movies, not even any of color extras?

***UPDATE – I just read in The Hollywood Reporter that Anthony Mackie has a “substantial” role in this movie. Why keep that a secret, trailer?

Beastly – Cute guy gets turned into a magically deformed guy and—OMGNPH!!

Stuff White People Do In This Movie: pull ups, look hot and talk about how hot they look, win the praise of the masses, have magical powers, live with a disability, beat the moral into the ground, look deeper, build greenhouses, like flowers,

Stuff Non-White People Do In this Movie: Well, there’s one at at table for a second, but she also doesn’t speak.

The best thing about this movie other than its anglo-tasticness, the fact that if this goes according to the story of Beauty and the Beast, the girl gets a SUPER HOT GUY in the end even though she likes him when he’s not hot…which means that the moral of the story is the beauty is still the ultimate prize. (oh, and douchebag guy still gets SUPER HOT GIRL after enduring a couple of bad days as a not hottie). Also, the dude doesn’t look ugly, he just looks like he’s really into bodmod.

Take Me Home Tonight – Topher Grace needs to let go.

Stuff White People Do In This Movie: Have overbearing parents, have unrealistic crushes, have crappy jobs, have silly shenanigans, breakdance, swim, dance badly, have adventures under the song “Straight Outta Compton,” let fear get in the way, help guys believe in themselves.

Stuff Non-White People Do In this Movie: Do not appear.

Why do I work so hard at being not-black???  Because as you can see, the not-blacks get to have such an awesome diversity of experiences!! So here’s the question…. if I do all of the above, will I finally ascend into whiteness? Or am I simply not eligible for the above?

And when cameras are rolling on these alabaster casts, do you think that the crew breathe a sigh of relief the way I do when I look around the barn during my dressage lessons? Or are they the least bit concerned that something’s gone…awry? I mean, with no people of color on screen, how the hell do you decide who gets killed first?

For a look at more movie trailer magic, click here!

Charlie Sheen’s Ethnic Epicness

So, Charlie Sheen has done a lot of bad. He’s spent a small fortune on illegal drugs, abused some women, made things

If that's not the wide-eyed stare of a devoted mentor, I don't know what is.

more difficult for his children, gave some anti-semitic quotes, starred in Hot Shots Part Deux and threatened the jobs of lots and lots of people by not getting help for any of the above issues.

But he did one thing right (and I’m not talking about how lives with deities–seriously, he calls his prosti– girlfrie– -er, roommates, “goddesses“).

Here’s what he did that’s so epic: He changed his crazy ethnic name to something way less Mexicany and thus put himself in a position to demand $3 million every time he phones in a performance for CBS.

That’s right. “Charlie Sheen” was born “Carlos Estevez.” And good on him for removing the brown from his name, and thus his life, by whitening that shiz up. Thanks to that little trip to the DMV (or where ever you go to change your name), Charlie has enjoyed fame, fortune and a fantasy life where he is the star he thinks he is.

Not so much for brother Emilio…and what else would you expect with a name like that?

I thought that other celebs of color could take a page from Charlie’s book and maybe, just maybe, get a bigger slice of that pie for themselves. Some blacktors are lucky, they’re named things like “Will Smith” or “Morgan Freeman” which sound pretty not-black. But others could give their career a boost with a few key strokes.

Below are some famous ethnic names and suggestions for their whitewashed equivalent.

  • Alfonso Riberio – Albrecht Russel
  • Djimon Hounsou – Dillon Houston
  • Queen Latifah – Elizabeth Windsor
  • Penelope Cruz – Patricia Clarke
  • Jaleel White – Justin Wales
  • Terrence Howard – Theodore Hilton
  • Mos Def – Hardest of Hearing
  • Orlando Jones – Orville James
  • Othello – Iago
  • Aretha Franklin – Amelia Francis
  • Phylicia Rashad – Pascale Richards
  • LeVar Burton – Lance Burton
  • Rhianna – Gaga
  • Condeleeza Rice – Christine Rialto
  • Aisha Tyler – Abigail Breslen
  • Eva Longoria – Ethel Lightman
  • Malcolm Jamal Warner – Mason Jason Disney
  • Soulja Boy – Lance Corporal Guy Mann
  • Taraji P. Henson to Tara P. Henson*
  • Viola Davis to Vanna Davis*
  • Chiwitel Ejiofor to Charles Ellington*
  • Idris Elba to Ira Evans*
  • Kesha to … oh wait.*

* – these names courtesy of @split_daydreams!

Who else can you think of? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to the list!

Also, for more on how going white gets you in the limelight, click here!

(ps…in a meeting once, an executive read a spec of Two and a Half Men that I wrote and told me that I “totally got Charlie Sheen. Sounded just like him.” Hmmm, wonder what that means for me…. )