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How to Write about Current Events, Zimmerman

Since Saturday, I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about the George Zimmerman non-verdict. Just like I tried to figure out what to say when all this started last year. Moments like this are what folks like me are here for. We’re supposed to say something hella pithy and clever and poignant and then drop the mic like BOOM.

The good news is, I have been saying a lot about the ol’ GZ sitch. The less good news is that the conversations have mostly been in my head. And they’ve sounded a little like this:

Saturday

TheOreoExperience: Holygoodness, I love me a singalong! And on such a lovely Los Angeles summer night! Ha! Summer days, drifting away to ah ah those suummmer niiiiiiights.

Inner Voice: Psst! Pssssst! Psssssssssssssssssssssssssst! Check your phone!  Someone just got an AP Mobile update saying that the verdict has come in.

TOE: C’mon. I just got my goodie bag. There are bubbles in here. I guarantee you the verdict is not going to make me want to blow bubbles.

IV: Who’s Bubbles?

TOE: My bubbles, I just– hey! I see what you did there. Stop being a child. We are at a Grease singalong. This is serious business.

IV: Travolta’s tight pants are serious business.

TOE: Yes they are. So stop distracting me. I’ll deal with this tomorrow.

IV: Okay. Sure thing.

(beat)

IV: He was found not guilty of all charges.

TOE: WHAT?! WHAT THE EFFING HOLY MOTHER EFFING EFF?! HOW IS THAT–

IV: We have to write about this.

TOE: I know, I know. But seriously, tomorrow. It hurts my self to think about this and It’s hard to put coherent satire together when you’re singing Beauty School Dropout.

Remember, kids. The moral of this story is something along the lines of become a slut to get the man of your dreams.  Not gonna say it worked for me...not gonna say it didn't.  (source)

Remember, kids. The moral of this story is something along the lines of become a slut to get the man of your dreams.
Not gonna say it worked for me…not gonna say it didn’t.
(source)

Every Day Since Saturday

IV: Why aren’t we writing yet?

TOE: Because…I just… I mean, have you…

IV: Oh, come on. You live for this stuff!

TOE: What a horrible thing to say.

IV: But it plays perfectly into your whole narrative.

TOE: It’s just too dark. I mean, as much as I like making jokes about this stuff, I kinda wish i didn’t have to.

IV: Yeah and I wish I had a unicorn right now.

TOE: Okay, fine.

IV: Wish in one hand, poop in the other, see which one fills up first.

TOE: I get it.

IV: When you wish upon a star, you look like a crazy person talking to yourself like that.

TOE: Okay!! You are not nice today.

IV: We’ve got things to do. Let’s hear what you’ve got.

TOE: Okay, well I thought about doing a piece about how a little Oreo fashion instruction could solve a lot of issues. Instead of hoodies, black folks should don turtlenecks and wigs–they keep all the brown from being seen, but aren’t as gangy looking. The right wig can also totally throw someone off the scene. I’m thinking a Whig era wig, you know. Also, I look amazeballs in a turtleneck.  

IV: Hmmm, yeah, now all I’m thinking about is that poor boy. Fucking sad.

TOE: That’s the problem!

IV: What else ya got? I think we can still make something work.

TOE: Hmmm, I could make a list of names that were more likely to encourage a guilty verdict. I mean, if George Zimmerman had shot young Albert Van Beveran or little Larson Latimer or if he had murdered Mackenzie Morris, things might have been different. I could talk about how Oreos know this and so we’ll even change our last names if it arranges an anglo-tastic alliteration. Maybe throw in a list of things you can change your name to?

IV: Yeah, it’s still really just bumming me out right now.

TOE: What about–

IV: You know what. Why don’t we just call it a day maybe go out on a cat picture.

TOE: Sounds good! Can we do some kitten mittens?

IV: Wouldn’t have it any other way.

TOE: You’re good to me.

IV: I really am.

TOE: Thanks Craig for the tip on the gif!

IV: Who’s Craig?

TOE: This guy I work with. He’s cool.

IV: Right on.

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TOE: Hey, IWS?

IV: Yeah?

TOE: Is this maybe what’s wrong with, oh, everything by the way? The whole let’s just look at a cat gif instead of rising up and taking action as a society?

(beat)

IV: It’s a really good gif.

TOE: Has everyone in my office seen me talking out loud to myself?

IV: Yup!

TOE: We have really got to get you a body.

(Click here for How To Write About Current Events Part I)

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What are your favorite pieces on the Trayvon Martin case? Give us links in the comments!

Or, if you’re the emotional child that I am, what are your favorite make-yourself-feel-better photos or gifts? Leave those in the comments, too! 

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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
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Mini Oreos

Little Oreos

Just a roundup of little things that touched my Oreo heart. 🙂

Bill Cosby Still Hates Black People, But Still Manages to Betray the Oreo Agenda

The Oreo agenda was firmly set with The Cosby Show back in the day. I remember my mom gathering us all to watch it when I was a kid. I always wondered why she seemed to be taking such copious notes. But it wasn’t long before I did, too.

In the last few years, Cos has reminded us over and over again that he’s totally embarrassed by Regular Black People. And really, who isn’t?

And this week he reminded us that he still does. Highlights of his speech at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Conference included referring to black kids with the distancing pronoun “it” and calling those children “dirty laundry.”

But there was one thing he said that was so much worse: “There’s no such thing as “talking white.”

WTF??

My whole identity as a child (and the nice reminder I got the other week) was based on the fact that I talked white. Mr. Cosby, please do not destroy decades of hard work with careless, unresearched sentences!

Another little Oreo. Man, that horse was a good sport.

Twitter is the New KFC?

Reports came out this week that show that Twitter is increasingly–and mostly–black.

It’s well-documented that most Twitter users are minorities, but Pew says the gap between African-Americans—the largest represented group—and white users is growing. In May 2011, there were 16 percentage points more African-Americans than whites on Twitter (25 percent African-American versus 9 percent white). Last November the racial divide was only 8 percent (13 percent African-American versus 5 percent white). One in 10 African-American Internet users visit Twitter every day, double the rate of Latinos and nearly four times the rate for whites, according to Pew.

I just got used to Twitter and now I feel like a plain ol’ RBP for hanging out there. More so because once I participated in #blacktagging – that hashtag take on dissing and The Dozens where jokes get passed around (mostly black Twitter circles) with tags like #wordsthatleadtotrouble and #ifhiphopwashighschool (my response to the latter: Flo Rida would have a hard time in geography class).

To my defense, I had just learned that Flo Rida was an entity and I was very busy being completely blown away that a person, their record label, their producers and friends would think that “Flo Rida” was a good name…for anything.  And that if they had to call it that, they wouldn’t at least change the spelling so that seeing it didn’t bring up images of hanging chads, Disneyland and Miami Snowbirds.

That is YOUR name, Sunshine State. Take it back!

It’s Fro-Yo, not “Fro”-Yo, You Know?

I went into Pinkberry Saturday night for a much-craved frozen treat. I chose what was meant to be an Oreo-appropriate location – Little Tokyo. There are no black people here. Just white people and Asians–who may actually be the whitest group of all (more of this later). This was the conversation:

Pinkberry Worker: Hi, have you been to Pinkberry before?

OreoExperience: You know, I’ve done Menchie’s and Yogurtland before, but not Pinkberry.

PW: Okay, well, our flavors are up there and you can get a sample any flavor you want. Like do you want to try the watermelon?

Beat.

OE: You know, I think I’m feeling like the tart a little more.

Sigh. I know I liked Yogurtland better, anyway.

But seriously, this stuff is like crack. Only without the baby mamas and unequal sentencing practices.

The Benefits of Blending in: You Get to Have Kids!

Gays: In case you were thinking that the dismantling of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was a good idea in that will allow more people to feel free to express themselves without fear of reproach in their chosen career, think about the consequences! If you all of a sudden suggest that people should stop repressing themselves just for the comfort of those around them, be ready to be ridiculed. If you aren’t holding it in with all of your might…you know what you might turn into.

Consider this: The Florida Family Planning Council, a conservative Christian group in Jeb’s state, recently released a newsletter to its followers featuring this picture.

Lesbians, per the FFPC

The picture was printed with a story about an evil judge who ripped some poor, defenseless orphan out of the potentially endless and often dangerous cycle of foster care and handed it over to lesbians to be loved and raised in a stable and nurturing environment. The caption in the newsletter identified one of the people pictured as one of the new moms and sent ripples of fear through the folks who read the newsletter.

After all, how dare a judge put a child in a home with ladies who are not only gay, but, you know, really really gay.

Turns out, however, that this is a picture of the actual couple:

Actual lesbians. Actually.

The FFPC asserted that they accidentally ran the wrong photo and issued a quasi-pology in the comments section of a Florida reporter’s column.

The FFPC is an organization that successfully lobbies local governments for changes to laws. This is a group made up of educated, professional people including many lawyers and doctors. They write articles, they draft letters, they blog and design web pages. They have been around for eight years. They know a whole lot about the life cycle of a fetus and have memorized tomes of religious text. Per all the photos on their website, they know how to exclude people of color from an organization in a state with a minority population of almost 40 percent– 6 percentage points higher than the rest of the country.  They know the ins and outs of the judicial system and can organize a great big gathering in a pinch. So, really, they don’t have the know-how to check a photo for accuracy?

Of course they do! Which makes the fact that they chose not to even more genius! They knew that lesbians who looked like “lesbians” were way scarier than you know….lesbians. Especially when you consider that the President of the organization said that none of his readers complained about the printing error.

So, ladies, don’t run the risk of that bob being too short.  Comfort the rest of the world by growing that hair out and buying shirts that minimize those shoulders. We can go get your highlights while I touch up my relaxer!