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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Rage Against The Sex Machine...

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T,  find out what it means to me..."  Aretha Franklin - Respect 

R.I.P. Cedella "Ciddy" Marley Booker - Bob Marley's mother passed at the age of 81.

I am so incensed with rage at the moment, that I had to take a moment to spew about this cloud of negativity hovering over me.  I have gone from one spectrum of emotion to another in less than 2 hours.  From being proud of being a black woman to being totally disappointed and irate with some black women.

Tonight was a night of must see TV for me.  My high first started by watching If I Were King on MTV, about Diddy's 2008 Sean John collection.  
And what a collection it was, full of bursts of color, symmetrical lines and bold statements.  It was amazing to see everything come together in the short span of time that they had.  Quite impressive for a line that has not had a show in 5 years.  Yes we know that Diddy is a "control freak", however I do agree with digging deep to get the best out of yourself and your crew for the task at hand.  That is what he set out to do and that is exactly what was achieved.  The highlight for me, was the fact that he used an all black cast for his show.  With the sprinkling of token black models on the runways, it was nice to see an all black cast strut their stuff.  And it was not a showing of your typical Ford model, but a mix of all colors, sizes and hotness.  Yes Diddy can sometimes be a cocky, arrogant, temperamental dude.  But truth be told, I was extremely proud of Sean John and Diddy for not letting anything or anyone stand in his way and his vision.  To watch Mr. Diddy do the damn thing was an extraordinary achievement in itself and that should most definitely be celebrated.  If you missed it, the encore will be played on April 12 @ 2pm.

After my high, I stumbled on a show on VH1 called Hip Hop Videos: Sexploitation: On The Set, this particular show was about women who perform in risque hip hop videos.  And I am not sure if it is a repeat, but because I am laying my eyes on it for the first time, it is new to me.  Of course, we all know who the poster girl was - yes Karrine "Superhead" Stephans.  Now this topic is an ongoing saga and has been beaten to death and resuscitated plenty of times.  The fact...sorry I mean excuse that sex sells drives me bloody insane.  When the discussion veered in the direction of BET Uncut, that is when my blood started to simmer.  I know that BET no longer has this show in its lineup (not that it matters cause they still show garbage regardless), but the sheer audacity of Uncut was apparent - to show videos of highly sexually charged nature for their "adult" audience.  Yes....riiiight...showing videos entitled "Bend Over" and "What That Thing Smell Like" where certainly appreciable ways to celebrate black culture BET.   What really took me aback was an interview that took place with three young strippers from North Carolina, who were looking to get into videos for a little exposure.  One is a single mother and the other two are working to survive.  All three of them did a video shaking everything that their mother, father, grandmother and grandfather gave them, and then some, for the camera.  And after all was said and done, they did not get paid for it.  The response from one of the girls was, "We did it for ourselves, so that we can feel a little bit better about ourselves.  And of course for exposure."  There was also another video girl named Asia who basically gets what she wants by using sexual commerce.  Translation, giving away her goodies to any man who will make time for her.  Her line was, "I don't care what nobody says, as long as my bills are paid and I'm making money I will do what I have to do."  Ummm - SAYWHAT??!!!

At that point, is when my blood started to boil, because all I am thinking is, "Is that what young girls with low self esteem are really thinking and are they taking anything into consideration?"  Their reasoning will be that they want exposure and will do anything to get it.  HOWEVER, it would be nice to see women saying hell no to the video ho or video vixen genre and hello to the sexy professional vamp or sexy woman period.  How 'bout that?  I know a lot argue that a gun is not held to these women's heads and it is done on free will.  Yes, these people have every right to say so.  But I know there is one thing that remains a constant in life, the fact that we always have CHOICE.  We know what is right from wrong and we know what will cause us harm and what will bring us joy.  So really only you know what is right for yourself once you make that choice.  I can't speak for that person who makes the choice to show all their god's gifts to everyone on camera.  Just the same, it will take that one person to stand up, say NO and do the do and another woman to follow suit and so on and so on.  It's on no one else but you.  I think Michaela Angela Davis the cofounder of Essence magazine's Take Back The Music said it best when she said: "Sex sells?  Well crack sells too, but that doesn't mean that it's good!"  Preach on Angela, preach on.  I may not agree with everything said by the group, but I do agree with that.  

So you see, these two shows are what brought me on my journey of being content and overjoyed one minute, to disgust and disdain the next.  Now that it's all out, I have some music to enlighten us!

The flashback of the day - some goodness from Sheila E.  'Nuff said.

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

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