Thursday, March 15, 2007

White Alvin Alley

Ok, so totally post dated post. But like two or three weeks ago, I went to see Alvin Alley. A family friend Dwana is like the big badass in the troupe. She's the bald headed sis in the video below. But anyway, so I go and I'm all prepped to see some black people do some black choreographed moves. So why then do I see like five, I swear I'm not lying, Five white chicks? Don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with white people dancing, but in the premiere, fuck the dumb shit, the only major black dance ensemble? And not like one octoroon rocking it in the back, I'm talking five full on Caucasoid dancing Revelations.

This goes back to this thing me and my cousin always talk about. I swear that in five years everyone is going to say that Filipino kids invented break dancing and djing. Why? Cause black people as a whole don't claim our cultural products. Freaking integration has tweaked the black consciousness to such a degree that were more concerned with assimilating than holding on to cultural products that exemplify our history and our struggles. Hardcore rappers are in such a rush to be thought of as successful that they take the most readily accessible status symbols they can find, Ice, booze, and beamers, and bitches. All of which can be bought for the price of our culture. Sadly there's a conflation in the minds of many black people today that see these trappings as their cultural legacy. While I'm not one of the "backpack to the club crew", I confess to empathizing more with their anti-capitalist stance, than with T-Pain and his love for the stripper (Though I really do like that song). In the end I feel the commodification of black culture becoming more and more self evident as fewer and fewer black people are willing to be unpopular and truly outlandish. I don't see this as a political issue, but rather a cultural one. But who knows, maybe Afrogeeks as the ability to be the vanguard of some new type of hybrid negritude that defies commodification but isn't rooted in some b.s retro 60's jargon. Stranger things have happened, right?

“I’m asking if ya’ll feel me and the crowd left me stranded…” Talib

I Came In Third

Mr. Terrific is the worst character in an otherwise great comic series (JSA). What kind of ability is being the 3rd smartest man on Earth? Oh, I forgot. He can’t be picked up on or recorded on any type of electronic device, as well. The 3rd smartest man? That’s like coming in 3rd place. He has his little spheres that buzz around him like digital flies on cyber shit, but is DC serious? The 3rd smartest? No one remembers who won the bronze. Also, for those who read JSA, doesn’t the 3rd smartest man ask a lot of questions? Every panel dude is asking a question. Not an investigative question, but a “what the hell is going on?” query. I’m not going to even mention that my man is in 3/4 blackface. The “T” painted on his grill is not for “Terrific” but for “Turd”.

Enough of my brief ranting. Now I want to pose two questions to the community:

1). Who are the other two (white boys) who are smarter than Mr. Terrific? I’m thinking Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor, but I could be wrong.

2). Has there ever been a Black comic book character who has been done correctly? I kind of like Vixen (but she still has that whole animal/exotic vibe). I liked Storm when she had the Mohawk. Black Panther is getting better and Jon Stewart as Green Lantern is cool (sometimes), but I can’t think of anyone else I dig.

I eagerly await your answers.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

See this is how that Whitney/Bobby shit started.

Word to the wise: Don’t start shit with hookers…especially if they’re cops. What the hell Kelis? Calm the fuck down, girl. I know you how much you hate me right now and all but you’ve really just can’t be out there yelling at hos. What the hell folks?

Captain who is dead?

I could seriously give two shakes of a rats dick whether or not Captain America is dead. Marvel had Jean Grey dead for like ten full years before they brought her back. So the Cap is coming back, its just a matter of time. Mark it on your calendars: When the Hulk comes back, so will Cap. But the shooting of America Captain America got me thinking about the history of the military in comics and the racist assumptions that go along with that construction. I was gonna write a long thing about it but then my brother from another mother hit me up with these lovely images cause he knows I collect these ugly little scrapes of Americana. Peep and wonder, “Who cares if Captain America is dead?”

P.S: Bill Foster is still six feet deep. When is brother man coming back?! Huh? Bet you never thought to ask that question! You know why? Because when a White God clone kills a giant of a brother, he stays dead! And the white corporate power structure has you all trained to accept that! BRING BACK BLACK GOLAITH!

Sorry ya’ll. You know I got problems.

In defense of Frank Miller

Ok so I saw 300 and even though they did take advantage of the whole Black hoard thing I absolutely loved it. Yes I loved it. It was the beautifully realized tale of masculinity. Now I admit that I am somewhat biased because my first literary reference to masculinity was provided by Frank Miller.

I must have been in sixth grade when I first read a Frank Miller comic. It was the beginning of his second run on Daredevil and he had taken the tact that Alan Moore had perfected on Swamp thing around the same time to re-invent the character: You strip the character of all the pomp and circumstance, all the history and jovial posturing. Given that it was 80’s, what was left of the character was its hardest edged most essential nature. The stripping started wit that first issue.

Karen Page, Daredevil’s ex-girlfriend, sold his identity to his worst enemy, the Kingpin, for a hit of heroin. Like I said, you’ve got to strip the character to its barebones. In typical sadistic fashion, the Kingpin beats the shit out of Matt Murdock economically of course. He takes away Daredevil’s secret identity, his money, his house, his law practice, even his best friends. He makes Matt Murdock suffer for the sins of Daredevil.

What does this have to do with 300 and masculinity? Shut up, I’m getting there.

Ok, so Matt Murdock is blind, costumeless, broke, and a little crazy. And all he has to hold on to are the words of his father, the part time boxer part time mob enforcer who died because he refused to take any more dives: “Never give up.” The old man said. The man who had more reason than any to give up told his blind son Never to give up. Murdock holds to his ideal and faces the kingpin at less than full strength. The kingpin is waiting for him, and in five of the most vicious panels my sixth grade self had ever seen, the Kingpin beat the living shit out of Daredevil. And what was on Matt Murdock’s mind the whole time? “Never give up.”

I’d been beat up for my comics at that time. I’d been bullied and sometimes I cried. But at that moment, I understood the difference between being beaten and giving up. I thank Frank Miller for that lesson every time I get my ass beat.

Ok, so 300. Same damn thing only writ large over Western history. The story of the 300 Spartans is nothing knew for anyone who studied Western history. Those who’ve studied realize that there were more than 300 people holding the gates at Thermopylae, but it was only the Spartans that refused to surrender. Only the Spartans declared freedom or death. Now believe me, I understand how weird it is to see that image, in this day and age, enacted by white bodies against the alien Black Horde, but that doesn’t mean that the message is any less important.

As for the political implications of the film, I can only say that they are no worse than any other Hollywood film today. I’m watching Stealth as I type this and once again I see how the sacrifice of the black body is necessary for true white heterosexual love to take place. The same holds true for Black Snake Moan. The difference is 300 is prettier. Granted I was jealous of those six packs for a bit, then I realized they were all airbrushed and I was able to calm down. There was a bit of the "Stomp the Yard” feeling about the flick, but it was in that sort of leather daddy White power way. I predict a near future when white power Bill and the rest of his prison cronies will start calling themselves Spartans. In the meantime I have another reason to appreciate Frank Miller.

Friday, March 09, 2007

WonderCon 2007

WonderCon2007 was the most exhilarating (and most frustrating) one I’ve eve attended. Instead of boring you all with an essay, I’m going to present the highs and lows:

• I won a ticket to be among the first group ever to see The 300 on the Imax screen. While it was a visually stunning film, the racial dynamics were on some D.W. Griffith shit. The great Negro hordes (Persians, even most of their slaves, were not that dark) came by land and by boat for what? “Gimme’ some white women!” Stuart, you were so right!

• I’m getting older. I must have walked 7-9 miles over the weekend, and my whole left ass cheek cramped up to where I could barely walk the last day.

• There were more Black Folks there than I have ever seen. But the ones that went costumed, all of the dressed as either a white comic or film character or an Asian or white manga/anime character. Not one Storm, Morpheus, Mr. Terrific, Black Lighting, Vixen, Bishop, Black Panther, M, Falcon, Luke Cage (thank Jah) in the house. Calling all AfroGeek artists and scribes, me need some healthy fantastical images as quick as you can churn them out. Now, please.

• People cannot say excuse me.

• The porn star autograph tables were empty!

• Boycott Old School Boomer’s new book. Spread the word.

• Phil Jimenez is a gentleman’s gentleman. Smart, humble and can draw his ass off. Great guy.

• The panel on Black superheroes was good, but man, it was painful to watch. Luke Cage has always been a shitty character, but I never knew how bad. And no, he is no cooler in the Civil War story arc. And why was it a white dude leadiing the panel?

• It was beautiful to see so many Black Men with their sons. These men were seeing an entirely new world through their sons’ eyes. I saw this one kid lead his father about the whole place, explaining things to him as if they were on a zoological expedition. The kid was so serious and his father was so engaged…yes, I did cry a little bit.

• It is so easy to go broke at a con. 48 graphic novels later.

• I’m going back next year. Just hope my left ass cheek can handle the strain.

All love and peace. All the time.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Boomer is a bitch!

Ok so I'm sitting here transcribing some of the interviews that are about to go up here as well as watching some seriously twisted shit courtesy of Ichi the killer, when it occurs to me how necessary it is to point out that Boomer from the original Battlestar galactica is a BITCH! For real.

So I was at Wondercon, complete with recorder, camera, and press badge, ready to give the love to all types of nergitude. And who do I see but Boomer. Now let's be clear, when I was a kid and I got my first wallet it had some bullshit identification card in it. The id card asked for a nickname. After a particularly embarrassing incident earlier in my life regarding, superman, aliases, and my black power mother, I decided to give myself a nickname based off a black person. That nickname was Boomer. So this is the type of excitement I'm feeling walking up to this man.

Me: Hello sir. I write for an online magazine called Afrogeeks and I was wondering if I might be able to do an interview with you later.

Boomer: (sounding like a bitch) Well we will have to see about it when the time comes. If I'm not busy...

I look to the left, I look to the right, nobody. I look to the left, nobody. I mean no one was giving a shit about dude. I thanked him for his time and left him with his book and his severe lack of love. Word to the wise for old black TV stars, Don’t piss off your afrogeek fans.