black people

How to Write About Current Events

Remember these?
(source)

So it’s been almost two weeks since my last post. This is due in part to the fact that a pile of freelance (yay!) has fallen into my lap and is happily nibbling away at my writing time.

It’s also due in part to the fact that this has been the conversation between myself and my inner writer self over the last coupla weeks:

TheOreoExperience: Wow! This Kony video is nuts! It’s got White People to the Rescue written all over it! It would totally make a good Trailer Trashing post.

InnerWriterSelf: You’re right. Way to be on top of things. I can’t wait to see what we come up with!

TOE: Just let me finish this work. I’m sure I’ll get that post out by the end of the week

IWS: You’re amazing. I’m so glad we’re working together.

A FEW DAYS LATER

TOE: Holy crap, that dude just had a nervous breakdown!

IWS: Wellllll…. true. But you make fun of people all the time. And the Kony 2012 video is still weird.

TOE: Yeah, but dude is messed up. Even if I did have a post up, I’d probably want to take it down. Poor thing.

IWS: Actually…yeah…

TOE: I mean, child soldiers are pretty much 100% a bad thing…even if the guy bringing them to our attention is oddly narcissistic…he meant well.

IWS: Don’t worry, we’ll find something else to write about!

TOE: Is it weird that I talk to myself this way?

IWS: Of course not!

TOE: Woah! I can’t believe that woman said that to me after class. Ugh! I just want to come in here, Zumba a bit and leave without someone saying something like “So jealous of you sisters! You’ve got such great hips!”

IWS: Doesn’t she know how long it took us to be okay with those hips?!?

Whether they're on the mantle or your body, you come to appreciate hourglasses much more after high school.
(source)

TOE: Ugh. She has no idea. I’m exhausted tonight, though, and have like 3 scripts to get through. I’ll bang that post out in a few days.

IWS: Haha. You said “bang.”

TOE: Haha! Oh, get this…I totally made my coworker blush. He asked me if I had any food at my desk…

IWS: And you said “no, but I do have something you can eat!”

TOE: You know me so well!

A FEW DAYS LATER

IWS: Did you see this Trayvon Martin story?!?!

TOE: I can’t even think about it!!

IWS: C’mon, you HAVE to write about this. I mean, this is like your whole thing.

TOE: I can’t even read a story about it without bursting into tears. And I’m pretty sure there’s nothing funny about it.

IWS: The Daily Show managed to make it funny.

And sexy!
(source)

TOE: The Daily Show also has a staff of like two-dozen writers who out-earn me by a factor of probably 20!

IWS: Are we fighting right now?

TOE: No, it’s fine. Everything’s fine.

IWS: I don’t believe you. You seem upset.

TOE: I just feel like sometimes you aren’t hearing what I’m saying. I DO want to write about this story, but it’s fucking sad as balls.

IWS: Haha, you said–

TOE: Not the time.

IWS: You’re right.

TOE: Let’s just move on. What are you doing this weekend?

IWS: I dunno. Wanna check out Hunger games?

Kinda worried that there are going to be way too many Mockingjay tattoos showing up in the next few years.
(source)

TOE: You know what, I still have a ton of work to get  through, maybe next week?

IWS: I liked the book!

TOE: Me, too! Kinda bummed that even with so much going on in the book and such a great story, they still felt the need to inject some semblance of a love story into the end.

IWS: Yeah, I hear that. So…we’re cool?

TOE: Yeah, totally. Talk tomorrow.

IWS: Wake up! Wake up! Did you see this?? Racist Hunger Games tweets, we HAVE to get on that!

TOE: Holy god, it’s so early! Don’t you sleep.

IWS: I’m a disembodied manifestation of your sense of self, of course I don’t sleep.

TOE: Fair enough. Oh geez! These tweets are nuts! And what the eff? Rue is totally described as being black in the book. Did they just miss that?

IWS: Dude! Why are you not writing like crazy right now?

TOE: I don’t even know what to say!

IWS: C’mooooooon! Do it!!

TOE: Wait, let me get this straight… You want me to make an hilarious observation about how teens can’t read and how they don’t seem to know how the Internet works and that we’ve lost the basic sense of etiquette that we’re taught when we’re kids to not say horrible mean things out loud…and maybe draw an equally knee-slapping parallel between the fact that people didn’t like Rue because she was black and the fact that a good chunk of the country is totally unsympathetic to the needless death of an unarmed kid? That’s what you want me to pull out of my ass right now?? I’m a writer, not a magician!

IWS: It was just a suggestion.

TOE: Oooh, there might be something in this Geraldo non-pology, though. Yeah, between that and the Belvedere ad and Lee Arohnson… I think I might have something.

IWS: I knew you could do it.

TOE: Also, I’m kinda getting tired of the “let me tell annoying politicians about my vagina” meme. Does that make me a bad feminist?

IWS: That’s a whole other part of your subconscious you’ve got to deal with for that one.

TOE’sInnerFeminist: Did someone call?

TOE: Coffee first, then self-analysis.

TOEIF: That’s fair. Btw… I have a story that would make a GREAT screenplay! Can I tell you about it??

IWS: Yikes!… Um… coffee first.

******

Talking to yourself doesn’t make you crazy, right? Right?? I blame the habit on the fact that I was an only child.

Fingers crossed, I’ll get to this Geraldo/Belvedere/2.5 Men thing this week

What internal struggles do you find yourself chatting with you about on the regular? Let us know in the comments.

***************************
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!

DOs and DON’Ts For Throwing a Blackface Party

Pretty much every year, a group of college students decides it’ll be a swell idea to host a party where people dress up like minorities by, among other things, donning some good ol’ fashioned blackface and sometimes a grill or two.

Just a reminder that these people were all making active choices.

Just today, we learned that sorority sisters at The University of Southern Mississippi were put on probation after they decided to dress up like the Huxtables. (Argyle and wigs were not enough, natch, they had to go whole hog).

Earlier this year, students at Université de Montréal donned blackface for a presentation in their business class.

C’est manifique, messieurs!

Last year, students at the University of California, San Diego hosted a “Compton Cookout.” The invitation to that party went a little something like this:

“February marks a very important month in American society. No, i’m not referring to Valentines day or Presidents day. I’m talking about Black History month. As a time to celebrate and in hopes of showing respect, the Regents community cordially invites you to its very first Compton Cookout.

For guys: I expect all males to be rockin Jersey’s, stuntin’ up in ya White T (XXXL smallest size acceptable), anything FUBU, Ecko, Rockawear, High/low top Jordans or Dunks, Chains, Jorts, stunner shades, 59 50 hats, Tats, etc.

For girls: For those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto chicks-Ghetto chicks usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes – they consider Baby Phat to be high class and expensive couture. They also have short, nappy hair, and usually wear cheap weave, usually in bad colors, such as purple or bright red. They look and act similar to Shenaynay, and speak very loudly, while rolling their neck, and waving their finger in your face. Ghetto chicks have a very limited vocabulary, and attempt to make up for it, by forming new words, such as “constipulated”, or simply cursing persistently, or using other types of vulgarities, and making noises, such as “hmmg!”, or smacking their lips, and making other angry noises,grunts, and faces. The objective is for all you lovely ladies to look, act, and essentially take on these “respectable” qualities throughout the day.

A few years ago, word got out that students at Tarleton State University, University of Connecticut School of Law, Clemson University and the University of Arizona all threw ghetto parties on Martin Luther King Day.

Happy MLK Day, everyone!

It seems that like prostitution and casual drug use, these peccadilloes are here to stay. So instead of trying to legislate morality into students, maybe we should take a cue from the Libertarians and give everyone some guidelines on how to party like it’s 1849 without risk of disciplinary action. It’s like learning how to have safe sex…assuming that by “sex,” we mean “really terrible party ideas that the future leaders of our country maybe shouldn’t be coming up with.”

So here are some Dos and Don’ts for your next ghettotastic shindig.

  • DON’T:  have a blackface party at a school with a black dean. I’m looking at you Mississippi!
  • DO: Keep a tight grip on the invite list. Some people are really sensitive and will report your party to school officials because they’re too busy not taking that stick out of their ass. So don’t let word get around that you’re hosting.
  • DON’T: Post pictures on facebook, Twitter, tumblr…actually, don’t take any pictures at all. Remember that person with the stick where the sun don’t shine? Well those same humorless aholes will likely send those pictures to someone who has the ability to make your life more difficult. So take the higher road and don’t give them the ammunition they need.
  • DO: not ask yourself why this is the theme you chose for your party in the first place. You have way too much to do to spend time thinking about your decisions may affect other people. Besides, don’t they see how ridiculously clever and ironic you are!  Ugh! They’ve probably never heard of Middling Banana Sunshine Patrol either and MDSP is like the best thing to happen to house music since…you know what, never mind, you have to be really in the scene to even get what they’re doing.
  • DON’T: make friends with RBP..like ever. They will straight leave your ass (and maybe cut you) when they see the one picture you couldn’t help but take. They may also report you to the dean. Oreos are probably pretty safe as they won’t bother showing you the silent tears they’re crying on the inside.
  • DO: remember to wash off the shoe polish before class in the morning! Showing up with those streaks on your face will be as awkward as it was waking up to that person in your bed who was soooo not cute now that you’re sober. Ick!!
  • DON’T: bother maybe doing a quick Google search to see why blackface is so fucking offensive, it’ll just bring down the mood of the room – total party foul!

Happy Partying!!!

What other tips do have for getting away with pretty offensive behavior? What do you think of these parties? Have you ever been? When’s your next one? Can I come? Let us know in the comments!

***

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

Trailer Trashing – Fall Edition

One of the biggest pieces of inspiration for an Oreo-to-be is film and TV. It’s so motivating to see what a diversity of experiences one can have…if one only had the foresight to not be you know…a brown.

With the summer over, it’s time for Hollywood to pull out a new season of films. Notable about this time of year is that this is where many strong Oscar contenders come from. Which means that these are the movies that filmmakers, young and old alike, will take their cues from. Here’s some of what’s coming up this fall and winter and how they stack up against the Oreo agenda.

Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star – Nick Swardson does porn (finally!!)

Things White People Get to Do: Be part of a loving family, be content with simple things, be blissfully unaware, be sweet, be naive, be oddly cool, progressive parents, live in a small town, live in a big city, parody Almost Famous, be hot, be regular looking, be super hot with a regular looking boyfriend, be the hero.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: be threatening, drive a car.

Contagion – This is why we don’t touch people.

Things White People Get to Do in This Movie: Play craps, have a family, be an expert, cry convincingly, deliver bad news, be unable to accept bad news, probably be the focal point of a conspiracy, populate towns.

Things Not-White People Get to Do in This Movie: Play craps, provide and clarify exposition.

Main Street – English actors fake Southern accents

Things White People Get to Do: Fake an American accent, come up with a plan, be taken advantage of by the boss, be savvy about the boss, believe a stranger, be troubled, look out for the troubled, work in an office.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: Believe a stranger.

Warrior – Fighting! 

Things White People Get to Do: have tattoos, cage fight, announce fights, reconnect with parents, gamble, join the military, lose a home, offer help, make up for lost time, walk around the house in matched undies and undershirt, throw tires around, be an adorable father, kiss the girl, be a war hero, cheer supportability, go head to head.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: walk through frame, lose a fight

I Don’t Know How She Does It – Whaaa?? A woman has a job and a life???!?!?

Things White People Get to Do: Have a career AND a family and be totes supes adorbs about it.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: n/a

Straw Dogs – Small Town Life is Murdery

Things White People Get to Do: Watch old movies, be in old movies, be way too aggressive, terrorize innocents, be a cheerleader, have sex, have a nice date, disrespect their partners, sexually harass women, fight back against bullies, go to church, rise to the challenge, wield a tire iron, use boiling water effectively.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: n/a

Drive – Ryan Gosling is hot. And dangerous. And hot.

Things White People Get to Do: be really good at driving, set up dirty deals, be mobsters, live in a big city, meet guys in elevators, be a stunt person, be a loving single mom, get their hands on more money than they were expecting, kiss the girl, bash someone’s head in, wear freaky masks, slit some throats, be the dad the dad couldn’t be.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: be a felon.

Abduction – It’s the Bourne movies, just with a werewolf teen

Things White People Get to Do: Experience an existential crisis, wrestle, host and attend pool parties, have an iPad, discover their past, illegally adopt children, fight like they do in the Bourne movies, be a rogue weapon, be the center of controversy, threaten teenagers, have sweet cars, ride trains,

Things Not-White People Get to Do: n/a

Dolphin Tale – Well, it’s a less porntastic title than Free Willy

Things White People Get to Do: Find tailless dolphin, believe in the tailless dolphin, provide a parallel storyline by having a badly wounded leg, hug awkwardly

Things Not-White People Get to Do: Be Morgan Effing Freeman, walk past a van

The Double- Richard Gere isn’t who he says he is.

Things White People Get to Do: Murder, be murdered, be powerful, be a smarty pants, throw down a challenge, become obsessed, have a family, be a threat, be level headed, be either a schizo madman or a brilliant strategist.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: swivel in a chair.

Killer Elite -Transporter 11?

Things White People Get to Do: get people “ready for this,” sport that awesome Clive Owen accent, punch, kick, make a chair fly with awesome glute action, get felt up in a pool.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: give advice.

Machine Gun Preacher – White People to the Rescue–Now With Heavy Artillery!!

Things White People Get to Do: have regret, stand in underwear, beg for help, get baptized, have a change of heart, save black people, make amends.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: be poor in Africa, be Freedom Fighters, be in a refugee camp, wield machine guns, try to kill the white guy, burn down a village.

Moneyball – He’s not in this movie, but have you seen how thin Jonah Hill is now??

Things White People Get to Do: run a baseball team, kick ass at their first job, change the game, have a family, sport some pretty obvious product placement, scare the intern.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: not be able to read the information on a vending machine, sit behind Brad Pitt, sit next to Jonah Hill.

50/50 – Cancer sucks.

Things White People Get to Do: be a best friend, cope as best they can, diagnose disease, provide therapy, be a supportive family, be a surprisingly cool old man, provide dubious support, go to bars.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: n/a – this is especially exciting because one of the people who was closest to me dealt with this and I, not knowing what to do, ended up acting as the partner giving dubious advice that was meant to be playfully endearing. Glad to know that I definitely wasn’t acting like an RBP. Apparently, I was acting like Seth Rogan.

Dream House -Wait, isn’t this the same schtick in the Richard Gere movie??

Things White People Get to Do: have a family, have sex, suspect something is wrong, be creepy townies, be bad neighbors, not know who they are, ride trains, relax in a bath, look like the kids from The Shining.

Things Not-White People Get to Do:  walk through a door.

What’s Your Number? – Okay, I kinda heart Anna Faris even if she did have plastic surgery.

Things White People Get to Do: date, stand in underwear, look for love, be a puppeteer, be delightfully awkward, make deep, personal insights,

Things Not-White People Get to Do:  provide advice, be a rocket scientist, be gay, attend a lovely wedding.

Wait?? A silly, floppy comedy is the movie that’s brave enough to risk putting of color ppl in real roles?

Dirty Girl – Southern Gals are Sassy!

Things White People Get to Do: be Southern, feather their hair, promote abstinence, push the envelope, be preggers, assign homework, have a good family, have a bad family, discover family secrets, drop a flour baby on its head, run away, dance with ribbons.

Things Not-White People Get to Do:  n/a

The Ides of March – This Just In: Politicians Lie

Things White People Get to Do: fly in private planes, be sure of themselves, recruit promising young people, make a difference, be a good candidate, be a bad candidate, make good deals, make bad deals, demand loyalty, wear suits, get in over their head.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: stand next to George Clooney.

Real Steel -Robots Fight in a Plot That Doesn’t Look Thin at All

Things White People Get to Do: recognize  how the fight has changed, make robots,  place bets, win some, lose some.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: announce a fight, attend fights.

The Big Year – Men Make a Bucket List Competitive

Things White People Get to Do: have a big house, have a great job, be angsty at family, go skiing, compete with each other, see the world, make up for lost time.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: set up a Jack Black joke, sit in front of Owen Wilson, set up another Jack Black joke.

Father of Invention – You Had Me at “White” Collar Crime

Things White People Get to Do: commit white collar crimes, be embarrassed about their family, expect the best, discover the worst, fall from grace, climb back up again, sing, make coffee, shine a light on other characters, be behind the times, play Rock Band.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: marry a super hot gal while her husband is in prison.

Fireflies in the Garden – I Haven’t Seen a Firefly Since College!

Things White People Get to Do: be abusive, be abused, accidentally kill someone, be EMTs, process the past, write a tell all, have loving catch phrases, do the best with what they have.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: n/a

Footloose – Are They Gonna Keep that Awkward Dancing By Himself Scene?

Things White People Get to Do: Live in a small town, live in a big town, have a family, be in positions of authority, have attitude, drive cars, make rules, challenge the rules, date, play chicken with school buses, tempt a train.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: be one of the guys, play sports, be in the crowd, deliver high fives.

Trespass -Nick Cage Has an Academy Award

Things White People Get to Do: have a family, have an amazing house, have a secret vault, stage an elaborate break in, be brutal, lie, cheat, steal, take big risks.

Things Not-White People Get to Do:  n/a

Margin Call – I totally chatted up Zack Quinto during Star Trek. We were basically besties.

Things White People Get to Do: work on Wall Street, get fired, keep working, go over the figures, place blame, dump stocks, go to strip clubs, empathize for the commoners, ride elevators, set into motion events that change America for a good long time.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: sit at a desk in the background.

The Three Musketeers – I’m not sure that tripod weapon existed back then. Or the spiky ball thing.

Things White People Get to Do: Sport dashing period costumes, fence beautifully, be clergy, be commoner, be captivating, create amazing dirigibles,

Things Not-White People Get to Do:  n/a

In Time -Hey! It’s the Guy From Big Bang Theory!

Things White People Get to Do: have a family, be stunning, be rich, be blue collar, make an important trade, owe someone their life–literally, ask people to look inside themselves, lead a revolution.

Things Not-White People Get to Do:  walk behind Cillian Murphy, walk through scene at a party, deliver a line of exposition, sit behind Cillian Murphy, be grateful for a gift.

The Rum Diary – Johnny Depp drinks a lot, is still adorable.

Things White People Get to Do: be a disaster, be a tough boss, be an adorable ex-pat, find creative solutions to problems, find the one white gal on the island, populate a yacht, make innuendo, hallucinate, print papers, be unafraid of death by car, shower.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: populate Puerto Rico, practice voodoo.

Tower Heist – I love you, Ben

Things White People Get to Do: Be the boss of the staff, be the staff, commit financial crimes, come up with a plan to get the bad guy, vocalize the need for a criminal, have asthma, disrespect the little guy.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: recognize racial disparity, be the staff, be locked up for non-savvy crimes, tutor people on how to rob, hit on the other black person in the movie.

A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas – Umm, this movie has two minority leads. There’s no way it can be interesting/marketable/worth the time. Sheesh!

Jack and Jill – Men in Drag are always hilarious

Things White People Get to Do: have a family, be rude, come over for dinner, hurt a horse, adopt a kid, have a cat, get hit on by Al Pacino, re-live youth, break the laws of physics on a jet ski.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: work in an office.

Melancholia – The End of The World Set to Soothing Music

Things White People Get to Do: get married, have access to a giant sundial, toast, be grumpy, ride horses, be unsatisfied, balletically prepare for the end of days.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: n/a

The Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn – Hmm. I thought we were done with these

Things White People Get to Do: show off their trapezius, send a letter, get a letter, morph, get married (aren’t they like 14??), go to Brazil, kiss a lot, expect us to believe that a belly that tiny could hold a baby.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: be in a wheelchair

A Dangerous Method – Keira Knightley does a bunch of accents. And her doctor.

Things White People Get to Do: answer questions, ask questions, ride in carriages, dress beautifully, be crazy, try new procedures, hide from sex get laid, have a gorgeous boat, face temptation.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: n/a

Hugo – The Spirit of Christmas Embodies a Cyborg

Things White People Get to Do: be a sweet dad, be a loved son, have a dog, run from authority, be all mysterious, make friends with a robot, enjoy miracles.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: n/a

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – No one mentions that cheese kanji she has on her ankle. She thinks it says “love.” It doesn’t. Ahh, college.

Things White People Get to Do: investigate, have dinners, live in cold climates, be part of the crowd, grow ill, come to the end of their ropes, keep searching.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: n/a

War Horse -You’ll Cry.

Things White People Get to Do: fall in love with nature, defend their homes, run through town, practice excellent riding posture, draw very well, grow up, tell their story.

Things Not-White People Get to Do: n/a

Whew! I was worried that I was going to see examples of myself in various and interesting situations. But luckily, I’ve been reminded that being of color is just not that interesting. Why else would of color folks be kept out of the canon of one of the most powerful industries going?

I’d say this was no big deal and that I and others might accept my blackness anyway. But the repetition of images (or the omission of images) is pretty much what the entire advertising industry is based on. So I guess a message is definitely getting across.

And thank God for it! I have spent way too much money relaxing my hair for it to be otherwise!

For moar looks at more movies, click here!

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

******

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

Balls! Or: Which Team Do You Play For, Or: Gratuitious Use of Euphemisms for a Sports-Related Post

Apparently, some sports season is winding down and/or another one is winding up. Something about brackets? I’m not sure. I just know that there’s been more talk of teams around the office and the group emails from my college alumni group are starting to be full of lots of ticket swap talk.

Unofortch, no one is anteing tix to see these fellas play.

I really wish I got the sports thing. I think this is the one only-child trait that I hang on to. I’m not overly selfish. I can play well with others. I don’t mind sharing. But I just don’t understand team sports. I remember standing on the volleyball court in school and thinking “So…did you want to handle this or do you want me to? There’s like 6 of us. Are we really all needed, because I have some arpeggios to practice if you’re good.”

HOW many people does it take to get a ball over a net?? The ball's not heavy, the net's not that high, just have that one gal toss it over, done!

You’d think I would have absorbed something useful about sports by now. I am, after all, from Texas, where football is a very big deal. And because I was extra cool, I was in marching band in both high school and college. So I went to a LOT of football games.

Yup. I sported that outfit. Proudly. Go LHB!!

But the things I most looked forward to had nothing to do with the game. In high school, we were allowed to take the boxes our hats came in into the stands with us to store our bright, white feathered plumes before and after the half-time performance. But you know what else those boxes could hold? Calculus and French text books!!! I was always so happy to have an extra four hours to work on homework, that I generally forgot to watch the field.

In college, my favorite part of the game was right after the half-time show when we would get applause and apples. They’d pass around this box of fruit and it was just delicious!! I mean, I think I was supposed to be happy that one of our players won a Heisman or something and that I got to see him play every week. But those apples were like the best apples ever.

There are a few general reasons why I can’t get on board with team sports:

I hate seeing men cry. I mean, I love it when men are emotionally avail, but it just breaks my heart to see them cry.

It's okay, little soldier. I'm here. I'm right here.

And guys often cry after losing a game. They’d try not to, but through their clenched lips and stern looks, you could see tears just welling up and them doing that not-blinking thing so that the tears wouldn’t actually fall. I’m misting up now just thinking about it.

I put things in perspective.  A friend was lamenting the fact that the Buffalo Bills have lost four Superbowls and thus people make fun of them. And I’m like “But they WENT to the Superbowl!! They made it there!! I can’t get to the Superbowl. That’s a serious accomplishment.” Apparently, just making it to the SB isn’t quite good enough. I’m a giant perfectionist and I still don’t get that.

I can’t stand to see people get hurt. I’m a huge baby when it comes to other people’s pain. My roommate once broke his toe in front of me and I had to call a doctor because I was the one who passed out.

And when it comes to specific sports, there’s just too many things that don’t make sense.

Baseball: You get in trouble for doing the right things. In the spirit of “okay, maybe I can learn to like this,” I played softball once a couple of years ago. I was up to bat. The pitch came toward me and I steeled myself for the contact. Dug my toe into the dirt, rotated back and CRACK!!! I hit the ball really high and really far. It was super impressive flying into the sun like that. Like a bird. A round, wingless birdie.

Like a kiwi! Only I'd never hit a kiwi with a bat. Even to give it the gift of flight.

And then I got OUT!!! Excuse me?? I just did something GOOD. I just demonstrated a serious piece of timing, strength and coordination and you PUNISH me for it??

Fuck that!

I haven’t played since.

Soccer: Thought I was gonna like this one because they don’t stop the clock. Yay!  A night, tight 90-minute game with nice, tight bodies running up and down the field. Low scoring, but that’s okay… until they do that bullshit kick off at the end!

I don’t remember what the score was, but at this match I went to in Australia, apparently, the judge or ref or officials or whatever didn’t care what it was. These players had just exhausted themselves and instead of going with what was on the scoreboard, they had a kick off where the first one to make a goal won the whole effing game! What?? Why not just do that at the beginning if you don’t care about the effort that went into it? Sheesh!

I'm sorry, was I complaining about something? I suddenly got distrac---

Basketball: Too many points. If it’s that easy to get points, it’s just doesn’t seem challenging. I would like it better though, I think if the guys went back to wearing those shorty shorts that they used to.

No surprise that the sports I do like are individual events. And super white.

Tennis: I played when I was in school. Classy, simple, elegant. And if you’re a girl, you get to have fun making the audience feel like pervs when you vocalize your impacts and efforts.

exactly how I looked when I played in school. Perhaps explains why I never went pro.

Equestrian Things: Who doesn’t want to have something and powerful between their legs? Seriously, though, horses are wonderful and they can fly!

Lindy Hop: If you think swing dancing isn’t an athletic pursuit, you clearly haven’t seen this video.

Tissu: Just getting into this now. First class is this weekend. Went to Cirque a couple of weeks ago. Squealed like a little kid throughout. Signed up for a class. Have clearly overestimated my hand and shoulder strength, flexibility, stamina and comfort with heights, but  looking forward to it!

If I get into this position, I will never get out.

Click here for an Oreo guide to regular sports.

And here to choose the right NCAA team for Oreos.

And if you’re of color and you’re going to play a sport, be sure no one else looks like you, or you’re going to confuse reporters.

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If you’re a sports fan, what is it that draws you into a game? Did you play yourself? Do you have friends who play? Let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
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Racist or Just Busy?

Politicians have this way of saying things that to the untrained ear sound “mean” or “racist” or “really really dumb.”

But I don’t think it’s that sinister. What do you think? Check out the video and then let us know in the comments!

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

Sappy Songs on a Sunday

Next on my list of ways to procrastinate instead of just writing the pages that I’m supposed to hand over to people tomorrow (sorry, M and J!) is to make a playlist of songs that I love…but that also make me cry a little bit.

I’ve already exhausted watching episodes of the BBC hit “How Clean is Your House,” making my own bathroom cleanser from scratch, annoying my cats and convincing myself not to go to the Cicada Club tonight (is anyone going to the Cicada Club tonight?). So this iTunes journey seems like the next best thing.

Here’s what I have so far! These are some of the songs that will cause me to show up for 8:30 a.m. production meetings with smudged mascara because I couldn’t just had to listen to them as I pulled into the parking lot at work.

Tom Waits – San Diego Serenade. This song gets five out of five tear stains. Just so lovely and evocative and simply lyriced.

Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. All of the versions of this song make me just want to slit my wrists they’re so gorgeous. But this one is the first one I heard. That’s not true. The first one I heard was done by a men’s a capella group from an Ivy League College. This is the second one I heard. And it is glorious!

Tim Minchin – If I Didn’t Have You. This is one of my favorite pieces of art ever. It sounds flippant at first, but then is just wow. Poignant and lovely and true. Also, he’s an Ozzie, so he pronounces the word “drama” as “dramer” which is equally as awesome as the song.

This Song from Next to Normal – Maybe. If you haven’t seen this play. See it, but be prepared to develop a drinking problem immediately afterwards. It’s beautiful, but depressing as eff.

Elaborate Lives from Aida. I know, there’s a black person in this video. But she’s dating a white dude, so it’s all good. Also, she’s Heather Headley who is hands down amazing. And she GETS TO KISS ADAM PASCAL. I would probably give every thing that I’ve ever owned or will to re-make this video with Adam. He did touch my shoulder once. I know he thought it was as special as I did. There are 46,000 views of this video. I’m pretty sure that 45,900 are mine .

Part of Your World. Yup.  A song about a girl dreaming to be something she’s not. How could that not move this Oreo to tears?

Also, the lyric “…How many wonders can one cavern hold…” Am I the only one who thinks that’s secretly dirty?

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What songs make you tear up? Let us know in the comments!

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

Awkward Questions and Answers About Black Hair (an FAQ)

m

Yesterday was one of those days when I walk into the office and someone says, “Did you… cut? your hair?”

I didn’t cut my hair.

“But it looks…different. What did you do?”

The answer to that question is not simple. Well, technically, it is. The actual answer is “washed it.” But to say that opens up way more questions and I have production reports to print out and copy.

Aww, haven't an allusion to Rob Schneider in forever! Those are still relevant, right?

These questions also present one of the trickiest things about being a dedicated Oreo. No matter how many show-jumping ribbons you’ve won, you are still have to deal with maintaining, and explaining, what’s going on up there.

So I’m devising this FAQ to hand out whenever my hair changes. Feel free to print it out and pin it up on the wall for easy reference. If you are an Oreo yourself, consider these talking points.

Q: So…did you cut your hair?

A: Nope. Oh! Did you see La Traviata this weekend? Just gorgeous!!

Truth be told, I was hoping to see Die Zauberflöte.

Q: Huh. It looks different.

A: It kind of has a mind of its own. And how hot was it Saturday? I could barely enjoy that Farmers’ Market at the Marina. And now my mangoes are totally overripe. It hurts me to squeeze them.

Q: …was that some sort of euphemism?

A: Not at all. I’m just really bummed about how tender my beautiful, gorgeous mangoes are now. I mean, just look at them.

Ah well, when life gives you bad mangoes, grab some vodka and turn that sh*t into a 'tini.

Q: I don’t think that’s appropriate.

A: All right, well, I’m taking them out at lunch if you want to see.

(See what you’ve done? You’ve created a diversion! Congratulations!)

Q: Well, whatever you did to it, your hair looks great.

A: Thank you.

Q: So…what did you do to it?

IF THIS CONVERSATION IS HAPPENING AFTER A RELAXER….

A: I got it done.

Q: Oh… What does that mean?

Here’s where you have a choice. You can either say: “Well, I spent two hours having white goop spread on my scalp to make all those annoying tight little curls go away.” But again, that brings up a lot of technical questions that really take some time to get into and those production reports are not going to print themselves.

A: I just… get it…straightened.

Q: Ohhhh, so your hair isn’t naturally straight?

This is a dumb question. By and large, black people hair is not naturally straight. But it’s one that a lot of people ask. And once it’s asked, the floodgates tend to open. If there’s anyway to stop talking at this point, do it. Fake a seizure, have someone call your cell phone like you’re on an awkward first date, start bleeding.

If you can’t reasonably get out of it, play along. You’re a good Oreo after all and to act embarrassed or self-conscious or irritated that people can’t just leave your hair alone would just make you look all uppity.

A: No, it’s not.

Q: So, if you just grew your hair out, what would happen?

A: It’d just get big.

Q: Like would you have…?

A: An afro, yes.

Q: You know, I kind of think those little afros are cute. Have you ever thought about growing one?

A: Oh god, no.

Q: Really because [random celebrity of color] has one and she looks really cute.

A: Oh really? Well, have you thought about making a bow out of blonde extensions and putting that on top of your head?

Like this.

Q: Um.. no, why?

A: Oh, well Gaga did that at some awards show, so… you know

Note: Don’t do this. Oreos are sweet, kind, accommodating people. We do not make points or draw attention to gaps in logic.

Q: Really because [random celebrity of color] has one and she looks really cute.

A: Huh, I can’t picture him/her right now. S/he wasn’t in Terrence Malik’s latest, right?

Q: Uh… no.

IF THE QUESTIONS DO NOT COME AFTER A RELAXER….

Q: So what did you do? It looks… fluffier?

A: Just regular washing. Eventually, my hair just ‘goes back.’

Q: What does that mean?

A: It just starts to get curly again?

Q: Oh, so your hair’s not naturally straight.

And there you have it. Though sometimes, you’ll get a few other questions.

Q: Can I touch it?

A: Eh, I’m really weird about personal space.

Q: But c’mon, we’re making out. And I’m already touching your pretty pretty face. Can’t I touch your hair, gorgeous?

A: Okay, fine.#blush(ifIcould) #swoon

Q: Have you ever thought about extensions?

A: Every day of my life. Black hair is really difficult, time consuming and expensive to manage. You have to either buy specialty oils to keep a natural ‘do looking good. Or you have to spend hundreds of dollars to get your scalp burned off once every 6-8 weeks. Or you have to spend more hundreds of dollars to have someone else’s hair sewn into your scalp. And also you have to answer questions like these on the regular.

NOTE: Do not say that. Just say yes. Or better yet “mais oui!”

Q: How do you wash it?

A: With a very delicate regime of shampoo, conditioner and water.

Q: Did you see that documentary Chris Rock did, Good Hair? That was really interesting.

A: I’m not really a Chris Rock fan.

Q: No? I think he’s so funny! I love his stand up.

A: I mean, I would turn down a ticket, but I’d rather go see Eddie Izzard.

If you don't get the joke on this button, go Google it right now and watch the brilliance that unfolds before you. Don't worry, we'll be here when you get back.

Q: So what–

A: Agh, I hate to cut you off, but I have got to get these production reports done, put these mangoes in the fridge and find someone to frame this dressage certificate.

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The one good thing about black hair care is that it’s all pretty painful. Relaxers burn like fire, pressing burns with oil that feels like it’s on fire and extensions are woven so tight you get an instant face lift. It’s a little bit of perfectly reasonable self-punishment to bring absolution like fasting or the Silas belt from The Da Vinci Code.

But you do have to choose wisely and pick the pain that’s right for you. Use this primer to weigh the pros and cons and tell us what you think!

And as you know, we love awkward situations here at The Oreo Experience. Whether it’s a a fancy engagement party or during a hike to the Hollywood sign, embarrassing moments are awesome. What are some of your best cringe-worthy stories? Let us know in the comments!

And I’m not saying I didn’t trust you to look up that Eddie Izzard bit. Buuuuut, just in case you didn’t. Voila!

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
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Talking Vagina Hands Are Big Douchebags

Huzzah! Summer’s Eve found a way to make women hate both their skin colors and their lady junk!

But BOO! Thanks to Fourth Estate outrage, the ads were pulled.

Yup. That's what Summer's Eve thinks a vagina looks like.

The douche company (literally, that’s not a slam) put out a series of ads where hands pretend to be vajayjays and extol the virtues of their completely unnecessary product that dangerously changes the ph levels inside of a very sensitive area leading to fun things like yeast infections and thus even more self-loathing while taking on the persona of various ethnicities, of course speaking with completely accurate, non-stereotype-tastic vernacular. I mean, when my squish mitten talks to me, it always says “Girrrrrrl” first.

I don’t think an ad campaign has made me shudder about my skin so much since McDonald’s PR geniuses said this on their website.

Like the unique African Baobab tree, which nourishes its community with its leaves and fruit, McDonald’s has branched out to the African-American community nourishing it with valuable programs and opportunities.

Highlights of the videos included an African American pudding hatch gettin’ ready to go to da club and a Latino yippee bog saying things like “Ay yi yi” in an accent Speedy Gonzalez would be proud of.

And don’t worry, Blanchetourage members, they didn’t leave you out. The white ham wallet like totes wants to be BFFs!

The vids aren’t avail on youtube anymore, but thanks to Adweek.com, you can watch them here. Please do. It’s a real treat. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

UPDATE: A friend (who may or may not choose to remain nameless) found one of the vids on yt! Here it is. Until further notice (ie. more of my friends do the hard work for me), check out the other two vids at the link above.

NEW UPDATE: Summer’s Eve pulled the videos again and again, but here they are!! Again, courtesy of Adweek.com

Summer’s Eve may not know how to take care of ladies’ bodies, but at least they’re helping make more Oreos! If after watching the video any new converts have questions, start here and send me a message letting me know you’re in!(Special thanks to Bloodhound Gang for writing the following song and thus contributing largely to this post)

To see an ad make forced labor look like high fashion, check out this post.

And for another video requisite for Oreo training, click here.

What do you think of these vids? Did Summer’s Eve make the right move by pulling them? What does it imply they were made in the first place?

And in case there’s a fave euphemism of yours that I was not able to use above, let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
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Prison: 3 Reasons To Visit The New Day Spa for Black Dudes

Everyone needs a place to get away from the routine

Hey black guys! Want a break from that dangerous, deadly life you lead? Do you need a place to lower your blood pressure while communing in a community of your peers?

Try prison!

This headline came out last week which surely didn’t bother anyone in the blogosphere at all:

Black men are half as likely to die at any given time if they’re in prison than if they aren’t, suggests a new study of North Carolina inmates.

The short story is that a new study shows that black men live longer in prison than outside of it. And of course they do! With such comfy quarters and sense of camaraderie, it only makes sense. Here are three reasons why you should book your weekend away today!

(PS…Did Bachmann and Santorum get this memo?)

1. Sober living!

The black prisoners seemed to be especially protected against alcohol and drug-related deaths…

Few things are more sobering than living in a studio apartment (Los Angelinos, am I right!!) and in prison, you don’t even get that much. But it’s all part of simplifying your life.

You're so cute IKEA, but even this adorable Splornjabarn won't fit between the cot, the toilet, the shiv stand and the shame. Bummer!

2. Clean pipes!

White prisoners died of cardiovascular diseases as often as expected and died of cancer slightly more often than non-prisoners.

Black inmates, by contrast, were between 30 and 40 percent less likely to die of those causes than those who weren’t incarcerated

Some might say that it’s depressing that food available to undeserved communities is less healthy than food  that’s served in prison.

Hey! A cucumber! See - spa-like!

But hey, all of us can be lazy cooks at home. You always expect something nicer when you step out.

3. Not murder!

They were also less likely to die of … suicide and murder than black men not in prison.

We talked last week about how awesome it is to live in a gated community. It’s safe in there!  And it doesn’t get much more gated than your average state lock up.

Some folks have said that things like unequal sentence for crack and cocaine violations, Three Strikes laws and  long jail sentences for casual marijuana are just conspiracies. And I think they are conspiring….to help black dudes relax for once!  It’s like they’re trying to throw a fun surprise party getaway!

How do you feel about day spas? Either the kind you elect to go to or the kind you’re forced to when you can’t afford decent legal counsel? Let us know in the comments!

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8 Other Awesome Things About Slavery

She knows what's up with black people.

This weekend, Michele Bachmann caught some very unwarranted flack for trying to promote marriage and family unity.

Bachmann, along with other Republican politicos, signed a pledge written by activist group  The Family Leader that said this:

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

The goal of The Family Group and it’s completely inoffensive pledge is ostensibly to push America back to a more family friendly environment by cracking down on abortion, getting rid of porn and by getting all nostalgic for the early days of this country.

Now, some people might say that instead of bringing various sides of an argument together, invoking the institution slavery in a discussion about anything other than actual slavery only serves to polarize anyone who might be reading that document or listening to someone talk about it.

Those people are lame and boring!

Especially because as Bachmann, et al, pointed out, slavery did some real good for black folks! I don’t know if they need another speech writer or document typer-upper. But here are eight other kickass things about slavery that we might want to work into some legal documents!

1. Fitness plans. According to some stats I hastily Googled, almost half of all black people are obese. This article says that in 42 states, more than a third of the black people there are obese. And in 15 states, that number goes up to 40%. I imagine that means that those black people are so fat that…they probably have a number of health problems and are uncomfortable in tiny seats or skinny jeans.

But back in slave days, blacks were super fit!! You can’t have a high body fat percentage when you’re doing hard labor all day. Not only did they get some cardio in when they were running from dogs and bullets and things, but they also got some fantastic strength training by carrying around full bushels of crops.

Not fat.

2. Better names. So there were those studies a while back that showed how identical resumes were handled much differently by recruiters depending on whether they had regular American sounding names or super ethno-black ones.

It was much the same in the good ol’ days. Slaves would come over with these hard to pronounce names and were promptly given new ones. They didn’t have to think about it or sift through dozens of baby name books to figure out if they were more a Madison or a Brighton or a Westley. Slave owners did the work for them! You came into the plantation an Mbutu and left a Marvin. Easy peasy!

3. Zero Percent Unemployment. It’s not new that The Great Recession has been hard on everyone. But statistics show that it’s been super hard on blacks. Whereas the national unemployment rate hovers near 9%, it’s up near 16% for black people and even slightly higher for black men.

That’s so not how it was when slavery was en vogue. You’d be hard pressed to find a black person out of work then. And sure, they didn’t get paid and had to work ridiculous hours, but you know how good an internship looks on a resume!

4. Travel Benefits. Trying to work overseas can be a nightmare! There’s Visas and sponsors to worry about. You have to figure out how to get your paychecks converted into the right currency for whatever bank you’re using. You can’t lose your passport.

But slaves got to work overseas and had someone else take care of all the particulars! All slaves had to do was mind their own business in Africa. Then, suddenly, they got a surprise trip to a whole new world with lodging already taken care of!

Ugh! It's as crowded as coach, am I right!

5. Easier Investment Portfolios. Have you looked at a paycheck recently? They’re so confusing! There’s the gross pay and allowances and all kinds of taxes. And don’t get me started on how complicated it can be to have a 401K! You have to figure out who your dependents are and how much of what stock you want to invest in. And if your company does matching funds, what’s the tipping point when you start taking out too much…it just goes on and on and on…

But slaves didn’t have to worry about all that. No pay meant no financial headache! No one likes doing their taxes and slaves got away with never having to.

6. Lots of Time Outdoors. How tiring is it, being cooped up in an office all day! Fluorescent lights and distant windows and office chairs that never seem to be adjusted quite right. It feels so good to just get away at the weekend. Go outside, take a hike or even just a walk around the neighborhood. Camping is a huge industry–people love it! And those lucky lucky slaves got to be outside all the time!! And they didn’t even have to wear sunscreen!

7. Low-Sugar Diet. We’ve already talked about the obesity rates among blacks, but diabetes is sky-high, too. Diabetes rates are twice as high among African-Americans than it is in whites. And they’re more likely to have to have limbs amputated. No. Thank. You.

It’s hard to over do it on the sugar when you’re eating scraps of meat and bread and so slaves totally had it good when it came to controlling carbs! It’s soooooo hard to say no to dessert. But slaves never got the chance to say yes! How easy would it be to be healthy without all that nasty temptation everywhere!

8. Gated Community Living. Today, neighborhoods where lots of black live are all scary like Compton or Oakland or The South. But as slaves, blacks got to live in super secure, fenced-in areas that would be totes out of their price range today. Jealous!

I mean, no, they didn't live in the big house, but they got to live behind the gate. Which is more than I'm doing, tell you that!

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