los angeles

Oreo on the Airwaves (or: This is Why You Keep Your Distance)

Many times, we have discussed why as an Oreo, it is important to keep a perimeter around yourself and between RBP. If you don’t do this, it’s only a matter of time before you discuss issues pertinent to race that make non colors feel uncomfortable and ruin years of hard-earned repression.

So I knew I was taking a chance when I accepted an interview offer from Gus T Renegade, the host of a decidedly un-Oreo podcast. 

But, I considered it community service and decided to take a chance and see if I couldn’t spread a little Oreo goodness to the masses.

Unlike my discussion of Longfellow held at the regatta, or the time I discussed the finer points of pointillism over tea at the Getty, the conversation with Mr. Renegade was heated and could definitely not be replayed at the club.

You can play it for yourself if you would like by going to this link and listening to or downloading the podcast.

To my non color friends (read: all my friends ), a sincere apology for having uncomfy phrases like “white supremacy” and “racism” repeated over and over. You know that I would never say such words unless absolutely necessary.

But don’t worry, after the broadcast, I cleansed my palate by watching some Bertol Brecht. Nothing like a little German modernism and Strum und Drang to get the gears going right again.

(And seriously, if you’re in Los Angeles, or are going to be soon, check out The Sacred Fools Theater’s production of Baal. Stunning) 

Is This Your Race Card?

BP-FrogAceI made good use of my AMA card (that’s Academy of Magical Arts in case you were wondering) and spent the evening being dazzled at Los Angeles’s Magic Castle–the Hollywood hub for all things great in the world of illusion. I learned two things on this outing.

1. When a grand illusion is augmented by a little card producing, the result is…excuse the pun, magical.

And as a bonus to the cause:

2. People of color do not go to magic shows.

Maybe it’s because historically, POC do not appreciate being tricked by white people.

But a little playful trickery in life is necessary. Without it, we wouldn’t have a political system or effective advertising.

Besides that, the whole Oreo lifestyle relies on sleight of hand, clever distraction and a well-placed trompe-l’œil. How else can we convince the world we are something that we are not?

So pull up a chair in your personal parlor of prestidigitation and get ready to say the magic words as you watch your perceived identity and their lowered expectations…disappear!

Burn Baby, Burn

Slather on the aloe, kids, I did it!

As I type this, the skin on my decolletage is hot to the touch, feels like it is infested with a thousand fire ants and is beginning to blister and peel.

I. Have. Sunburned.

sol01Sunburning is one part of the Oreo lifestyle that cannot be learned. It must be experienced.  While all Oreo hopefuls are able to further their assimilation by taking a class in medieval dress pattern making, renting a kayak for the day or picking up some new tech stocks on eTrade. But a sunburn is a special step.

It’s like a fiery kiss from God saying: “Well done. You’re on your way.”

As a child of color, you are often told that you don’t need to worry about sunscreen because you simply will not burn. This is devastating when trying to blend in. Not only do you tan, which just seems cruel, but you are also left out of conversations about “laying out,” going to tanning salons and recurring freckles.

Thankfully, I defeated the odds.

You may think that the melanoma risk is a hefty price to pay for acceptance. But what’s worse? A relatively treatable medical condition or being considered part of a quota system?

My battle scar did not come easily. It took a drive out of unusually overcast Los Angeles and nearly 8 hours in uncomfortably warm sun to crack the surface. I was sweaty, dehydrated and seeing desert oases where there were none. I wanted to give up, but this lifestyle is a marathon, not a race, so I toughed it out and was rewarded this morning as I rolled over onto my chest and let out a scream of pain that woke my whole building.

When my neighbor came to see if everything was okay, she found me in tears. She tried to comfort me, but there was no need. These were tears of joy at my pain.

Sure it hurts to take a shower or wear shirts, but nothing worth winning was won without suffering.

Now excuse me as I log off. I have a dermatologist’s appointment to schedule and a sheet of peeled skin to hang on my wall next to my other trophies.