May 7th, 2007

Coffee Squirrel

Article on Hip-Hop. Link at the bottom.

Hip-Hop Profanity, Misogyny and Violence:
Blame the Manufacturer

On a Spring day at McDonald's fast food restaurants all across Black America, counter clerks welcome female customers with the greeting,

"What you want, bitch?" Female employees flip burgers in see-through outfits and make lewd sexual remarks to pre-teen boys while bussing

tables. McDonald's managers position themselves near the exits, arms folded, Glocks protruding from their waistbands, nodding to

departing customers, "Have a good day, motherf**kers. Y'all my niggas."

Naturally, the surrounding communities would be upset. A portion of their anger would be directed at the young men and women whose conduct

was so destructive of the morals and image of African Americans. Preachers would rail against the willingness of Black youth to debase

themselves in such a manner, and politicians would rush to introduce laws making it a crime for public accommodations employees to use

profanity or engage in lewd or threatening behavior. However, there can be no doubt that the full wrath of the community and the state

would descend like an angry god's vengeance on the real villain: the McDonald's Corporation, the purveyor of the fast food experience product.

Hip Hop music is also a product, produced by giant corporations for mass distribution to a carefully targeted and cultivated demographic

market. Corporate executives map out multi-year campaigns to increase their share of the targeted market, hiring and firing subordinates --

the men and women of Artists and Recordings (A&R) departments -- whose job is to find the raw material for the product (artists), and shape

it into the package upper management has decreed is most marketable (the artist's public persona, image, style and behavior). It is a

corporate process at every stage of artist "development," one that was in place long before the artist was "discovered" or signed to the

corporate label. What the public sees, hears and consumes is the end result of a process that is integral to the business model crafted by

top corporate executives. The artist, the song, the presentation -- all of it is a corporate product.

**This really ties in to why the ridiculous Imus thing was a fart in the wind, but also speaks to something bigger.  People actually buy into the self-hating Black man myth. Yes, they sadly exist. It's got nothing to do with hip-hop that they do. I am not even a great consumer of hip-hop music. That isn't even the point. No, this isn't a victim cry. It just got me thinking about image and how it's...indicative of the denial of three dimensions. I just posted it because it made me think about my place in the bigger culture, if I have any. What does it mean if I don't have a place? Is it a freedom from the rat race that I should use to my own advantage? (And to the advantage of those in similar positions) I'll post more about some stuff we've been going over in my Race, Gender and Class in the US Economy class. I'll put that under the right filter. This is just general 'friends' and I wanted to post it before I forgot. I don't need any comments. Just feeling thoughtful. And those who I'd be willing to discuss it with already have my e-mail address. This is the underground me, stuff that I ruminate on and act on more than something I discuss with others. People often sleep on me -- don't think I'm taking stuff in or think I'm more relaxed about it than I am. =shrug= I don't feel the need to explain when suddenly they're on the outer perimeter of my world rather than the inner sanctum. No hatred of them as human beings. I don't have that in me. Just disappointment that those who seem so...well-rounded just don't get it sometimes. More later. Or shortly. Or whenever....
Coffee Squirrel

Mama Said So

My mother is crazy.  She wouldn't mind me saying this to friends. She knows it's true. I was talking to her last night before she went to bed. She told me she had a dream.  She said it was a special dream as it felt like the time she had a dream about a recipe for something for age spots and she tried it and it WORKED. Then she forgot the recipe. My mother is a very fair-skinned Black woman and she had begun to get brown spots on her hands -- just not on her left hand, where the concoction she came up with removed the one she had and prevented others. No joke.

At any rate, she told me she had been meaning to call me because she had a dream I wrote something about Mental Health and it was critically acclaimed or something. I laughed SO hard. I hadn't even been discussing my strong interest in Mental Illness with her. I don't even mention all that I think about it HERE. I know it was just my mom making her one far-away baby feel special (it worked, made me smile). She told me to write two hours a day. I hate that I'm built this way, but it's always easier for me to do things with outside dictates. And I know I won't always do it.  But now I feel pushed to make the effort simply because she said so. Like I said before: I'd make an interesting bottom were I into BDSM.
It doesn't matter if her dream for me comes true. I take comfort in it. I needed to hear that she's got such high hopes for me right now...
Coffee Squirrel

Cho Didn't Get Court-Ordered Treatment

WASHINGTON - The gunman who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech failed to get the mental health treatment ordered by a judge who declared him an imminent threat to himself and others, a newspaper reported Monday.

Seung-Hui Cho was found "mentally ill and in need of hospitalization" in December 2005, according to court papers. A judge ordered him into involuntary outpatient treatment.

However, neither the court nor community mental health officials followed up on the judge's order, and Cho didn't get the treatment, The Washington Post reported, citing unidentified authorities who have seen Cho's medical files.

"The system doesn't work well," said Tom Diggs, executive director of the Commission on Mental Health Law Reform, which has been studying the state mental health system and will report to the General Assembly next year.

**The system doesn't work well? The hell you say! And yet, there are all these friggin' RULES and LEGISLATION had anyone to tried to make an effort as an individual to help him. It wouldn't 'count' as it would not have been official. Yet the 'official' way failed him. ::dons her red and black:: This is making me more and more of an anarchist-leaning wench. I'm not talking randomness with no recourse.  I'm also not talking about letting folks fall by the wayside and be marginalized because they have no social ties. Let those who are willing to HELP! Facilitate the shit! How hard is that? If you can LOSE or RUN OUT of MILLIONS of monies meant to help those in Louisiana -- given by hard-working people and just PISSED away in bureaucracy -- then you can STEP ASIDE while those who want to go ahead and git'r'done!

Gaaahhhh! That is all. Now to go to my Class, Race and Gender class to get even MORE angry. ::shrug:: Oh, well.