Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dark Girls documentary, and a google reader alternative.

Let me tell you a story about one of life's simple pleasures. Rabbi Shmuley says that the way to be happy in life is to find pleasure in the mundane, since the mundane is what makes up most of your days.

Before we moved, I used to have OWN. I watched it all the time. The show about the eating disorder clinic, Ryan and Tatum O' Neal's show about their messed up relationship, Sarah Ferguson's show where she screamed in the desert and followed a string around the backyard while blindfolded--I was all over those. Then we moved and I thought my access to OWN was gone forever (or at least as long as we lived here.)

Then after we had been living here several months, I saw a tivo suggestion that had recorded on OWN. I clicked on it, fully expecting to see a blank screen and a message about how that channel wasn't authorized. So imagine my surprise when an actual show came on! I had OWN again! Who knows how long I'd had it. Instead of focusing on the shows I'd missed, I figured it better to focus on all the shows I could watch in the future. So, the last thing I watched on the channel was Master Class with Susan Sarandon, where she shared gems like it being important to celebrate rejection like you celebrate victories, because not getting something you think you want opens you up to getting something else.

So how this all relates to race and inequality: Oprah's network is showing a documentary this Sunday called Dark Girls. It is all about colorism, something I talked about in my first point of this post. You can watch trailer for it below:

They also have a longer (9 minute) trailer you can watch on the film's website here.

So, if this seems like a topic you would be interested in learning more about, I would encourage you to watch the documentary this Sunday, June 23rd at 10/9 central.

And now for the second part of this post's title. It looks like Google is not changing its mind about getting rid of Reader at the beginning of next month. I have switched over all the blogs I read to Bloglovin'. I haven't completely figured it out, but it is free and it seems to be good enough. They have a way to automatically transfer your blogs from reader to them, which seems like it would be helpful if you read a lot of blogs.

If you don't follow a lot of other blogs, you can like my blog on facebook.
You can also follow me on twitter.

The good thing about both of these avenues is that I sometimes post things on both of these sites that I don't necessarily discuss here on the blog. Like bonus features of a DVD or something. Though twitter is more like the blooper reel :p

I also have an option where you can sign up to receive new posts via email. I don't know how to post a link for that. But if you're not on a mobile device, you can look on the right sidebar (right under the about me section,) and sign up. And if you are on a mobile device, you can wait until you get to home or work and get on an actual computer and then look on the right sidebar under the about me section and sign up.

I think that's everything. Feel free to leave me a comment, though I don't know that I said much to comment on. Maybe you can tell me your favorite show on OWN.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

That freakin' cheerios commercial.

So two people told me directly about this commercial. I had seen it on four or so other blogs before that. A couple-three people posted about it on facebook, and I've seen it discussed on two tv shows. Watch it below, if you haven't seen it already:

So here's what I think about the whole Cheerios interracial couple commercial. Get ready for the bullet points.

--Are we surprised that people leave racist comments on videos on youtube? If so, I don't know why.

--This reminds me of racist hunger games tweet Johnny that I wrote about in this post. Wow, you don't have a problem with interracial marriage? How forward thinking of you. If you would like to take this opportunity to feel morally superior to some trolls on the internet...knock yourself out.

--Who broke the story that Cheerios had to close down the comment section on the video? Was it Mr. Cheerio? Call me cynical, but they have gotten a truckload of free publicity from this story. I'm sure they're familiar with how youtube works (see two dashes point #1)--is it possible some ad guy/gal was thinking a couple steps ahead and saw where this might lead for them?

--As far as my personal feelings about the commercial: It's fine. I have not written about this here before (mainly because I didn't want it to affect my street cred,) but I am in an interracial relationship myself. I am glad that George can see a kid that looks like him on television. But I think their next commercial needs to be hot white dad/hotter black mom--so George can really feel like his family is being represented ;)

--Yes, there are all types of families. Which ones should get the mainstream corporation commercial treatment? Interracial couples? Gay couples? Polygamous families? Polyamorous families? Families where one partner is old enough to be the parent of the other partner? Single teen mothers? Couples where the mom is taller than the dad? Families where everyone is obese? Where someone is blind? Where the family lives in a trailer? A public housing project? Where they're homeless? Some of these and not others? Why?

--The first place that I saw this commercial was an online magazine whose target audience is young black women. One of the conversations going on in the comment section was that commercials like this one serve to help destroy the black family and discount the idea of black love. I put it in italics only because it's an actual thing/concept that I am assuming most of my readers are not aware of. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I think I may write a whole 'nother post (or several) about interracial relationships, but I want to just stick to the commercial for now. I did this bullet point because I think it would surprise some white people to know that some black people aren't super excited about the chance to be featured as member's of a white person's family.

--Which leads me to my final two dashes point. We need to be very wary of the we're just like you, strategy. MLK seemed to be a fan, and I feel like the current push around gay rights seems to have strong elements of this as well. One thing that was so striking about this commercial was that it was so normal. And by normal, I of course mean that it could have been an all-white family with no changes. Because isn't that who gets to be called normal--white people? This whole accept us because we're just like you--we dress like you, talk like you, think like you, waste perfectly good boxes of cereal like you way of thinking is dangerous for at least two reasons. First, it opens up members of your group (of which there are usually many,) that don't conform to this mainstream way of behaving to what appears to be legitimate ridicule and exclusion. Second, it accepts without question the idea that the dominant culture's way of doing everything is the best way. This just reinforces the idea of supremacy that we are supposedly fighting against. White people have had some great ideas (like being on time,) but they haven't figured out the best way to do everything. Some of their ways of functioning are just as destructive as other groups. So instead of trying to fight for your slice of a dysfunctional pie, change the recipe so by the time you get your piece, it already tastes delicious.

You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect because you are a human being, period. Don't forget that.

So those are my thoughts on the Cheerios commercial. As always, I would love to hear what you have to say--so feel free to leave me a comment.