Monday, August 26, 2013

How I used to feel about Beyonce

Today I came across cold hard proof that I didn't always drink the Beyonce kool-aid. Here is a expletive-infested tirade I wrote about her in the summer of 2003 when "Crazy in Love" had just come out:

People! That "Crazy in Love" video is a fucking soft-porn.  The first time I saw it I was speechless.  I felt like I had been tainted.  I mean what the fuck? Beyonce has talent and she's beautiful.  Why the fuck does she feel the need to gyrate and roll around on the street in her panties to make money?  The worst thing is that the shit is HER song.  She's not some video hoe in Jay-Z's video. She's the fucking artist exploiting herself!  It's her video, her song and all she could come up with the video is running around in lingerie?  C'mon.  The only good thing that came out of that video is the "uh-oh" booty dance.  Many, many good nights at the club have been jump-started with that wonderful little move.  As for the song itself, those horns can get pretty fucking annoying when the DJ plays them over and over again before starting the song.  But I can't deny that that song overflows with energy.  I prefer her other song with Sean Paul though.  You know the song.  I can't think of the title.  It goes "Baby boy you stay on my mind fulfill my fantasies."  Yeah, that one.
Oh, and by the way.  That fucking ugly, bad-singing bitch Lumidee(or however you spell her dumb name) is fucking singing that uh-oh shit right out-fucking-side my window right now and NO I don't like it.  That song was annoying when it first came out and I just didn't want to admit it cause everyone liked it.  But people, don't you realize, you don't like the song, it's just impossible to get the shit out of your head so you decide to like it cause you gonna be singing it for a long ass time. The bitch sounds like she's whining on the playground in kin-deee-gaarten. If anyone sang that way in my presence, it would vex me beyond belief.  I would take a basketball and chuck it directly at their face repeatedly until they stopped.  Please don't believe the hype.  You don't like that horrible song.

Damn. I used to say "fuck" a LOT!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I don’t quite know when but, at some point, I stopped identifying as “smart.”  That is not to say that I don’t consider myself to a critical thinker, or intelligent.  What I mean is that I no longer consider those attributes to be points of identity for me.  I would much rather be seen as empathetic, resilient or even affable than “smart.”  When this comes up in conversation with old friends from my overachiever days, they often scoff at this development.  Often times, they feel as I am doing myself some deep disservice by no longer considering this trait to be essential to my notion of self.  I, however, find it incredibly freeing and integral to my personal journey towards authenticity.

As a product of a severely abusive childhood, my sense of self was pretty fucked from day one. Venerable psychologist Abraham Maslow went as far to say that those individuals who lack the very things that child abuse robs its victims of (ie. safety, love, occasionally food and water, family and confidence) are destined to have “a cripple psychology.”   Dr. Mary Ainsworth, another key figure in modern psychology, made it her life’s work to study the importance and life-long influence of parent-child relationships.  Put bluntly, having as shitty parent not only fucks you up during the abuse but, to some extent, for the rest of your life (even with therapy.)  Your essential sense of self is not allowed to form. 

Prevented from forging relationships with others, both directly (being literally locked in rooms) and indirectly (interacting with people in meaningful ways means having to explain why your Mom is nuts), I focused on school.  It was a sanctuary and a battleground where, regardless of what happened at home, I could reign supreme.  Aside from the obvious physical safety it provided, I was also able to escape to lands and lives I’d never imagined through reading.  And I definitely took pleasure in consistently scoring higher than the rest of my classmates, much to their chagrin.  In school, I was finally able to dominate.  

The older I became, doing well in school provided more tangible rewards; extra-curricular activities and summer long “nerd camps” allowed me to escape my home.  These rewards culminated in gaining a scholarship to a school where housing was paid for by my financial aid. 

However, it was also around this time that I realized I had no personal investment in school for…well, school’s sake.  While I was thankful for the knowledge I’d gained, I longed for something else. Something that everyone seemed to have.  Now that I was in college, I was forced to think about what I was going to do with this education – and that was terrifying. 

This ennui, this existential search to find out what the hell I was doing, lead to a very reckless part of my life that lasted years.  Even after graduating with honors, I shunned my past.  I felt that my education was worthless, as it didn't magically make anything better.  So I escaped with drugs, sex, and other self-harming behaviors.  Education didn't “fix” anything.  Being smart didn't make me anymore “me.” 

After years of therapy, I've come to a more nuanced understanding.  I see now that, it may very well have been the critical thinking skills I honed in school that allowed me to overcome my childhood.  The friends I made in college are now who I consider to be my “family” over a decade later.  So, it wasn't all for naught.  I work in a job where , while not setting the world on fire, I am able to call upon my education to creatively solve complex dilemmas on a daily basis.

So…”smart.”   That word is empty, and laced with desperation; both for an identity and some external approval.  So, while it may fit others, that’s a skin I've luckily shed. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Time is precious, people!

I can't stand when people insist on telling me the same fucking story over and over again. But what really grinds my gears is when I tell them that they've already told to me the story and they pretend like they didn't hear me and proceed to spend another 10 to 15 minutes retelling me the same wack-ass story I didn't want to hear the first time around. I try to tell them, "you've already told me that story" in my "polite" voice so they don't waste another 10 minutes of my life, Because life is really precious, you know?

But they completely disregard me and it pisses me off like they don't care about my precious life and they want to tell me their story no matter what. Do they think if they tell me again it'll actually be funny or interesting this time and not even worse the second time around?!


I just came up with the perfect solution this may seem harsh but the end justifies the means. The next time a friend tries to do this to me I will simply tell them that they have two choices: they can either stop and refrain from telling me the same dumbass story again, or they can tell me the story but they must pay me for the time I have to spend listening to the same stupid ass story over and over again. Because time is money people and if you insist on telling me what I don't want to hear then the least you can do is compensate me for the time I'm wasting listening to your whack ass words.

Friends, you may find this harsh but I love you. I really do. STFU and have a good night.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Beyonce, the Heartbreaker (you've got the best of me)

     I have always stayed quiet about the Beyonce hype... well, "always" is relative. But, I know a lot of people really like her- including the Obamas. And including my dear friend, Kayla, whose opinions I respect. Anyway, I wasn't surprised that Bey ripped out her heart. I kinda think that Beyonce ruins everything. The inauguration, the power grid at the Super Bowl, and the axiom for black women's looks are just a few examples. But, I tried to like her. I like "Love on Top." I don't really like much of her other solo work, but I attribute that to my general taste in music.

      Anyway, back to Kayla's heart. First, she was offended that Bey named the song "Bow Down." I was not too offended because, sometimes Bey is ratchet. eg. "Ring the Alarm," chinchilla coats!?! Ok, Pimps-R-Us frequent shopper!  Second, there was the cussing- especially "bitches."  I was surprised at this. Bey doesn't cuss! (or didnt used to-- but today is her and Jay-Z's 5 year anniversary, and I think a lot of women's language gets more colorful during marriage).  I know Bey considers herself a feminist.  I also know there are a lot of ways to be feminist.  She did write a song about who "Run the World," but it's (Girls), not comment. 

     When I first heard the song, I thought it was nothing I would want to dance to, but I was happy that Mike Jones was working again.  I had just been trying to remember his phone number and here he was!  Then, I realized it's Beyonce the whole time!!  I should have known because Beyonce ft. Mike Jones would've appeared on some headline.  Also, sometimes she doesn't work with others.  She does most of her own backup vocals and, even at the Super Bowl, she did much of her back-up dancing- with those giant screens and her video duplicates.  She did allow Michelle and Kelly to make an apperance--how nostalgic *sigh*

     Then -back to "Bow Down"- to exacerbate matters, Rush Limbaugh got into the mix.**  Beyonce brought Rush into the media's commentary of R&B.  Like I said, she ruins everything!!  He interpreted her song to mean that women should bow down, know their place, and accept a good man when they have one.  Oh, Rush! We already know nothing is too unimportant for him, especially when he can use it to make black people, Obama, women, or anything liberal look bad.  So, it's not entirely her fault.  Bey is just always in a place that has wide-reaching effects.  I guess that is what super stardom and "queen-ality" is.

     So, in conclusion, I am sorry to all those who have been hurt, shocked, offended, insulted by Beyonce.  All I can advise is to let her have her pedestal, but to keep it in the realm of music, and *gulp* fashion.  (But don't tell that to PETA.  She is always angering them because she wears a lot of animals.  Again, no comment)
If you recognized the title from another R&B Royal... all I can say is, Bey is no Mariah! I had a vision of a pop/R&B queen and it was not what Beyonce turned out to be.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Peter, Paul and Mary Moments

After toying around with various possibilities, I've decided it would best to just storm right into this joint, Cosmo Kramer-style.  So, here goes...

My name is Del and I've been a friend of Kayla's since I thought I was straight.  (Which translates to a little over 12 years.)  I'm fat, black and the proud papa of the best damn dog in the world.  There's more, of course, but that'll do for now. 

I, and the author of this blog, have known each other since we were 17; there are virtually no secrets between us.  Between dishing out sage advice, being the most beautiful woman in the world, and smacking me upside the head, Kayla invited me to contribute to "Black Girls Don't Shave Their Legs." We've have some amazing conversations  over the years, and disagree as much as we see eye to eye.  It is our hope that our differing, yet somehow cohesive, opinions will be of as much interest to you as we have been to each other. 

Today being Sunday, I attended church services earlier this morning.  (There's one more thing...I'm a Christian.)  I'm usually five or ten minutes late, so I grab a seat in the back, so as not to disrupt service.  Fortune smiled on me this morning, and I was able to grab a seat directly by the stairs with out making a spectacle of myself. 

That's usually how I go about life; stealthily, almost squirrelly, aiming never to rock the boat too much.  For reasons too numerous to list in one blog post, I have admittedly become the kind of person who aims to never really be noticed. Having social anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, and a tendency to be a misanthrope makes this pretty easy. 

I think that's why I like's quite literally a safe space.  Especially my hippie congregation, where Peter, Paul & Mary and Bob Dylan songs are as likely to be sung as are standard hymns.  We have something called "the passing of the peace," where we're forced (okay, maybe not "forced," but definitely coerced) to greet each one of our neighbors and wish them well.  These sorts of things don't go over well for the too cool for school set.  I should know; I used to be one of them.

There are still remnants of that cheeky, insecure college kid however.  I never hang around after service, partially because there is not enough Adavan in the world to overcome the accompanying anxiety, but also because I don't make myself at least try.  I had a bad experience at a church social group meeting, and haven't been to another once since; there's at least 20 of them.  And, most prescient to this post, I never sing out loud during service. 

I have a bad voice.  I am tone deaf, possess the traces of a nasally Queens accent, and have no volume control.  If you're a friend, my vociferous, unsteady baritone is an endearing quirk; if you're a foe, my voice is like nails on a chalkboard.  I get it, totally.  Ever since I was told to lip-sync in middle school chorus, I have never even attempted to sing in earnest. 

But today, something monumental occurred.  Somewhere towards the end of "If I Had A Hammer," I got caught up in what I guess what the Spirit.  But not in the "get an usher, he's speaking in tongues," snake handling way.  It was more like a genuine, rapturous glee. Having lost my cell phone, being passed over for a promotion and feeling unsure about my future suddenly didn't matter.  I honestly almost wanted them to, because I was afraid of what would happen if I actually let myself "go."  I thought the dude next to me looked ridiculous, clapping and stomping like a meth-ed up wind up toy.  But by the time I was "hammering peace across this land," I was well...hammering.  I sang, and I clapped, and this was new territory.  I fucking sang today.  And I didn't give a damn how it sounded. 

So, why am I sharing this meandering, not quite anecdote as my first post?  Well, because it speaks to everything that I'm "about" right now, namely progress.  I'm interested in others' journeys and want to make it clear that I'm a man in search of answers, not someone who claims to have them.  But also, because maybe I'm soliciting help?  Feedback?  Eh, I don't know.  But that's the whole point, right?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tonight, Beyonce Shattered my Heart

"I've got drafts written for this very blog extolling this bitch as the post-modern feminist and she pulls THIS SHIT?! Now I can't even publish the shit."

OK. OK. Let me rewind. I'm Sorry. I'm gonna try to make this coherent and succinct but its going to be hard as BEYONCE JUST SHATTERED MY FUCKING WORLD!

Oh, expletive warning y'all. My emotions are running high.

I don't have the time or the emotional wherewithal to explain to you just how much I loved Beyonce. I don't have the time to explain that I was very sure about my love because she had to work hard to earn since I hated her for a while (see, I can't even write proper sentences cause my stomach is upset and I feel like I might have a stroke).

 I'm trying to explain to you how earth-shattering this is for me. I want to make sure you know that I loved Beyonce fiercely for some concrete reasons. I loved her level of innovation as a musician. Her talent as a vocalist. I loved her work ethic, her classic appeal. I loved her commitment to performing and doing it well. I loved her strength as a woman. I consider myself a feminist and I LOVE women who lift up other women. One of the reasons I loved Beyonce is because I felt she did this in her own way.

Well who the fuck told me to scroll down my damn Facebook newsfeed tonight? I don't know why I did it. I was getting ready to go to bed. I wasn't even prepared to have my world rocked like this. But, lo and behold, I'm scrolling down my newsfeed and I see this:

So I'm like, WTF? The Beyonce I love wouldn't say something so brazenly obnoxious. Yes, she gets a little playful with her banter sometimes but, "bow down?" I was immediately offended.

Little did I know, this was just the tip of the iceberg! Then, I discovered the song. Please try to listen to the whole thing. I know its hard. (Note to Beyonce, if you're going to make an obnoxious, disrespectful song, at least make it sound good!):


I am beyond disappointed. I've been fiercely defending this woman for years and she makes me look like an idiot with this shit!? This goes against everything I stand for as a woman. I cannot be who I am and continue to love and support an artist that thinks this shit is OK. I don't know what happened to her brain but she was way off with this. I know she's trying to push the envelope and break out of this image the world has of her but I happen to like the classic Beyonce. The woman who left it all on the stage. Who didn't care if people thought she was boring and simple because she consistently killed it in the studio and in concert. The Beyonce I love wouldn't stoop to the level of addressing her haters this way because she would know it's not worth losing the self-respecting fans she has who don't give a fuck about her struggle to be "relevant." The Beyonce I love let her music speak for her, not the other way around. If I wanted to listen to another record calling me a bitch, I would just turn on the hip-hop station.

Why does Beyonce think her fans want her to be Rihanna?! Why did she take it there? Clearly, we know you are an amazingly talented person but did Michael Jackson ever release a record like this? No!  He went as far as "Bad" and that's it. Maybe "Leave me Alone" but he made it clear who he was talking to (the papparazzi).

Why Bey! Why?!

I have to stop here. I'm starting to ramble.

More later. I have to pull myself together somewhat.