Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Seth MacFarlane's Boob Gate And The Oscars Bro-Haha

I admit, I didn’t watch the Oscars live. I wanted to, but the moment I rebooted my laptop I was instantly soaked by a social media frenzy—something about Seth MacFarlane and… a song about boobs! I wanted to see what the furor was about. Actually, what I really wanted was to catch the Oscars. But I couldn’t. An online replay of the entire ceremony was not to be found, but a song titled “We saw your boobs” was more ubiquitous than downloadable porn shots of actual boobs. So I listened to it and was at once in shock, thinking—what a catchy tune!!!

No, I really was shocked, mostly by the reaction to the song, particularly from critics whose observations I usually hold in high regard. Even one of my journalistic heroes, David Carr, referred to this Academy sanctioned stunt as “dudeism” and suggested “punching a whole in the theater to let some of that testosterone out.”  Maybe he has a point. After all, when David Carr speaks, I usually shut up and listen.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

For Black Women Writers, The Black History Month Forecast is "Obscure"

Image Credit: Sony Reader Store
In honor of the Black History Month, I dare you, my fellow buffs of American letters, to fire off in one breath 10 names of established, living, female African American fiction writers. And no, Kola Boof doesn't count (my game, my rules). If you are having trouble, it’s because there is a new term which seems to make anecdotal the persistence of whiteness across the best-seller lists: Obscurity.

"When the finalists for the (2011) National Book Award in Fiction were announced last month," wrote Ron Charles of The Washington Post, "I’m embarrassed to admit that I was among those critics grumbling about the obscurity of some of the authors.”

For a while, I struggled to make sense of that word. Obscurity sounded almost like an act of weather—a kind of fog that settled spontaneously on women of color and shrouded their writing.