Oreo-Approved!

The Help Wins! 6 Reasons I’m Totes Thrilled

I was worried last year. I had pretty much exhausted the canon of movies that remind me how awful it is to be an RBP. I had gone through Tyler Perry’s joints. I had taken copious notes on how people of color were relegated to the tiniest of roles in regular movies. I read up on Lucas’s problems with Red Tails. But Oreos require constant inspiration and I was running low.

And then tonight’s SAG Awards happened. And The Help won Best Picture.

Here are 6 reasons why it’s beyond baller that it did.

1. Keeping the genre alive. Look, there’s only so much room in the canon for “thrillers” or “comedies” or “silent films.” We need to constantly push the envelope. At this time, we have amazing technology that can take us to far away worlds or put a new spin on old techniques…. But both of those things take quite a bit of work and challenge filmmakers as well as audiences. Much better to bask in nostalgia, both in the look and mentality of the films we choose to make and laud.

2.  Wildly inconsistent stakes distract from period horrors. So, the RBP ladies in this movie need Skeeter because it’s too risky for them to speak up for themselves. If they do, they’ll get fired, or worse. So it makes total sense then, that Minnie bakes her own shit into a pie and gives it to a white lady. Because if it’s such a terrifying time that black people can be killed for looking twice at a white person, I’m sure they’ll be perfectly safe by giving their former employers a Hep strain.

Because the film doesn’t make it clear how dangerous a time it was, it lets us know that it probably wasn’t all ~that~ bad in the end. I mean, there was room for shit pie.

How did she even know how to properly season a poop in a pie in the first place?

3. Totally reasonable reason for firing someone turns into abhorrent reason to fire someone and thus makes the fired seem a bit petty at the end of the day. So, in addition to emotionally molesting her friends for their stories that she’s going to publish, Skeeter also spends a great deal of time pestering her mother to tell her what happened to the mammy she grew up with. With a tearful story, her mom finally tells her.

Turns out, Skeeter’s mammy was like 174 years old and couldn’t properly serve meals anymore. Also, during a very important meeting, the mammy’s daughter bursts into the room and interrupts. This is the equivalent of me following my company’s CEO to a business lunch and then sitting down at their table as if our company’s CEO has any idea who I am.

What Skeeter’s mammy did was a perfectly reasonable firing offense. And so, again, it reminds us that things weren’t really all that bad back in the ol’ Jim Crow days, so seriously, what is everyone complaining about??

4. Reminder that it doesn’t matter if you were beaten to shit by the cops and your kids can’t go to college–if your friend gets a book deal, it’s all worth it! One of the maids, Yule May, steals a ring to help pay for her sons to go to college. This is a crime. For the infraction, she’s beaten half to death by a couple of white cops.

The next time we see Yule May, we don’t see her broken bones or bruised face from being the victim of very unreasonable search and seizure. Instead, we see her yukking it up in jail, reading Skeeter’s book. There’s no more mention of her poor sons who now can’t get an education, nor do we see how exactly her bones managed to knit after two grown men used the full force of their physicality on her. This, like with point 3, reminds us that things surely couldn’t have been all too terrible, so why can’t we all just get along now!

5. If something’s shot on celluloid or shown in a theater and doesn’t feature a black woman saying “I love me some fried chicken,” then I don’t think that thing can properly call itself a film.

Here’s some more fun with The Help. This piece wasn’t nominated for Best Short Subject Film, I’ll never know. I’m sure we can all agree that it was a snub!

6. Okay, fine. Viola is pretty amazeballsingly gorgeous. As discussed before, self-loathing makes the Oreo go ’round and I was running low. Now I get to be bummed out not only about being black, but about my complete inability to achieve this kind of statuesqueness.
What do you think? Did The Help deserve the award? Do you want it to get an Oscar, too? What do you think should get the gold this year? Let us know in the comments! 
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Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!
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Celebrity Surgery to Change Ethnicity and Launch Careers!

My pursuit of whiteness has been once again validated.

Courtesy of Cracked, check out this list of celebrities who, through surgery (–mind you, some of these procedures were done in the 1930s when anesthetic was sketchy at best) , adoption (why not bring some kids into it!) and all out lies (or faux-truths as some of us like to call them), changed their original ethnic heritage for one that made them way better.

Check out the link for the full story, but here are some photo teasers.

I, like every other good American female, have thought about plastic surgery a few times…but I never realized just how much good it could do!

Who doesn’t want to change something about themselves? If you could, money and social stigma being no object, change something about you through surgery, what would it be? 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!

First Kanye, Now Essence? More Options for the Oreo!

Take one magazine for black women, add one white fashion editor…ta daa! A new publication for Oreos to love and a media crapstorm!

For those of you who don’t read Essence–and my guess is that if you read this blog, you don’t read Essence–the magazine was once a highly political pub aimed at empowering black women. It’s become more of a fluffy lifestyle piece over the years, but the main goal is still the same: Reach out to RBP women, make them feel good, have them buy cosmetics.

As such, most of the top tier staff at Essence has been black.

Thankfully, that’s changed.

The magazine just hired the decidedly not-black Placas and many RBP are pissed.

But here’s the thing. It’s all kinds of awkward to go into someone’s home and see a magazine that touts ethnic identity as being a worthwhile pursuit. So now that Essence has a better chance of looking like any other fashion magazine, we can all relax. I mean, look how great this cover of Vanity Fair looked. Nevermind that Gabourey Sidibe was a total breakout star, she would have totally fucked up this magazine cover about young breakout stars in Hollywood.

Why put a black woman in a position of creative power at a magazine aimed at a black women when she might bring some icky, uncomfortable verisimilitude to said magazine. A black fashion director for example, would probably never let this romantic, antebellum-themed ad make it into her magazine’s pages and look how cute it is!

The touch, the feel of cotton

I’m sure that her experience in the fashion world makes her more than super qualified to be a magazine’s fashion director. And her experience not being black makes her a great choice to take a magazine that sometimes does the “wahwahI’mblack” into the modern day and have even more people picking up and running with the Oreo flag.

So congrats on the new gig, Ellana! Play your cards right and this Oreo will add a new subscription to keep her Harper’s and Horse and Hound company!

Other reasons the media is an Oreo’s friend: If you’re pretty and brown, you might be a terrorist, RBP in the movies can’t be wizards or go on dates, and is Tyler Perry, a sworn Oreo enemy actually an Oreo in disguise?

What do you think of the Essence sitch? Does it matter that a not-black person is directing a black fashion magazine? Are historical issues over and done with enough that fashion is an equal-opportunity self-loathing machine (even white girls have a hard time shedding as many curves as it takes to be  a supermodel, I’m guessing). Are specialty magazines passe, out of vogue?

Men I Wish Had Been The Milk With My Oreo!

A short list of some interracial lovin’ I would give my squash trophies and my tickets to the Ring cycle to have been a part of. 

1. TJ 

Though variations exist on exactly how Thomas Jefferson came to take Sally Hemings by force loved his slave Sally, their story has been the basis for self loathing for generations and generations. I mean, what is more romantic than giving yourself to your owner because in return for your sexuality he promises to free your children when you die only to have various made for TV miniseries turn that arrangement into pure, unending, Oreo love!

2. Hugh

Hollywood’s cutest British bad boy could have paid to have sex with anyone…but he paid to have sex with a black girl…so it was almost like he paid to have sex with me….and it was very special.

Totally welcome to sample my scones.

 

3. William is the Shat

Legend has it that there were two takes of this famous first televised interracial kiss. One for the north that showed them going at it thusly. And one for the south that was toned down to avoid riots. Allegedly, there was time to shoot only one of each and (young, hot) Billy sabotaged the censored one, so the whole nation got to see Nichelle Nichols choose Shatner over all the other men in the universe.

5. Adrien

One of the best things about winning an Oscar: getting to kiss whoever you want without asking consent. But it is Adrien. And he is…Adrien. Hell, I wouldn’t kick him off the podium.

5. Adam

Dear guys who invented the frozen, glowing wheel on Lost: Can you make me something like that so I can teleoport into Heather Headly’s body. First, she’s named Heather. Awesome Oreo name. Two, she opened the Oreo-tastic show Aida on Broadway in the late 90s. Third, she got to make out with Adam Pascal, like a bunch of times.

For those of you not as up to date on your B’way stories as I am, a few things to note. a) You may best know Adam for originating the role of Roger in RENT. b) Aida is a must see for any Oreo. Here’s why: Aida, a Nubian princess (okay, that part’s a little cliche) shirks her duties to her family to fall in love with Ramades, an Egyptian.

B’way did us a favor by ignoring Geography and making the Nubians black, but the Egyptians white, neverminding that both countries are in Africa. Had they paid attention to their social studies lessons and made Ramades black, Aida would never have become an Oreo role model. Instead, she would have been an RBP falling for an RBP. But now, she gives up her ethnic life to die in a cave with a white guy.

But yeah…a little death might be a fair trade for getting a little Adam.

Anyone else you think should be on the list?

Friday Film Series

So, I was wondering how I was going to cap off my Memorial Day Weekend. I mean, there’s the Oreo usual–a night of contemporary theater, getting my hair straightened, an improv show rehearsal, relaxing by the pool in my 1950s era bathing costume.

But come Tuesday, how am I going to keep the celebration going. Thank you Cinefamily for giving me an answer! They advertised this event (a night showcasing the 100 most important animated Looney Tunes cartoons) with this video. Out of the ostensibly, 100 videos they could have put on their website, they chose one that reminds me why I will work so hard to keep my freshly straightened hair out of the pool this weekend.

Please enjoy the classic (and important) animated short: Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs.

A special prize will seriously go to anyone who can get me a bottle of Cotton Gin!!

The Blind Side, a final tribute

Okay, so it’s many months after all the Oscar hooplah, but I finally sat down with a vodka gimlet,

Mmmm, vodka and limes. Delicious. And helpful.

 

 The Blind Side and some time. In all my work writing tribute songs and considering my Leanne Touhy Halloween costume,I realized I hadn’t fully articulated the reasons I love this film and why it is so Oreo-tastic.

So here’s why.

1. Apart from the snazzy federal investigator, every person of color in this movie is pretty fairly defective. Michael Oher, as portrayed by this film, is a gentle, hulking giant who scares little girls, can’t read and who barely stands up for himself when faced with pretty stark racism and manipulation. His mother is a drug addict, his neighbors are skeezy, his main compadre threatens to rape Mike’s adopted sister, the DMV worker is full of attitude, even the woman at Michael’s laundry would make the average suburbanite uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, there are a variety of white characters in the movie. Some are mean. Some are nice. Some are funny. Some are neutral. 

Thus, we have nicely reinforced that white people come in a variety, of colors do not. Watch just the first couple of reels of this film and your average Oreo will be hating themselves and worrying that they are what people seem to think they are.

2. Though Michael shows aptitude for leaning, his family eschews that fact to teach him to play football. Then, they only start reinforcing academics when Mike needs to make grades to get a football scholarship.  This serves to remind the audience that even though of colors may seem to be teachable, it’s much better to ignore this fact if there is financial gain to be had.

3. Michael isn’t good at football…but don’t worry. He gets good, thanks to the help of a nice white lady who forces the proper path on him. 

4. Michael learns to like school stuff…thanks to the football that he didn’t like in the first place! Mike gets all frustrated that he can’t learn, but then, his adopted dad tells him about how Tennyson was writing about colleges with big football teams…so now Mike likes books and stuff! Hooray! 

4. All the shit that happens in the black hood is fucking nuts! I mean, though there are plenty of wealthy of color neighborhoods in the south, thank goodness we don’t see any of them in this film. 

5. $250 million! That’s a lot of people who got to see these norms reinforced during the 126 minutes of this film. At least one of them even said when it was done “You know, I have always wanted to adopt a black child.” ABC already has the deal for the television run of TBS in place. So that’s even more people will see all of us in our boxes and ensure that the Oreo way of life survives. 

And that’s a perfect Hollywood ending! 

Speaking of sports, what do you think is the over/under on how old Sandy’s new son is when he watches The Blind Side and wonders just for a moment…?